School's (almost) out. The middle seat is back in circulation. Domestic flights are familiarly busy.
Air New Zealand has said that it is ramping up domestic flights in anticipation of the October school holidays, with the carrier resuming 85 per cent of their pre-Covid schedule.
While down overall, the flight numbers represent a growing demand from New Zealanders wanting to travel the country.
Considering historically 20 per cent of the airline's domestic routes has been international travellers, Air New Zealand argues that the reduced schedule masks an increase in uptake from Kiwi flyers.
"We've added capacity to the majority of our routes in the two-week holiday period. We're operating 1000 extra one-way flights these school holidays compared with the July break," said GM of networks Scott Carr.
Some routes have increased capacity compared to the same period last year.
Air New Zealand will be flying 73,000 seats into Queenstown in October, a 25 per cent increase - in anticipation of holiday demand for the resort town.
Flights between Auckland and Queenstown are currently priced at between $89 and $209 a seat.
Carr said the airline was "proud" to be putting on more flights and giving "a boost to local tourism operators, accommodation providers and rental car companies".
Australian competitors Jetstar resumed flights last week, offering similar fares from $69 to $105 one way.
The airline owned by Qantas suspended its domestic services in New Zealand, saying the business was "unviable" while distancing measures meant seats were left unsold.
"We're really pleased to get our planes and our people back in the sky, right in time for school holidays so we can help reconnect family and friends across the country," said Jetstar CEO Evans.
The Australian budget carrier said it is operating at approximately 60 per cent of its pre-Covid schedule in New Zealand.
Both airlines will require passengers to wear face coverings while onboard.