Air New Zealand will increase its total domestic capacity by more than 650,000 seats in the coming financial year.
Increased flight frequencies and the airline’s fleet modernisation programme, which will see the domestic jet fleet continue to transition from Boeing 737s to more modern larger A320 aircraft, are behind this substantial growth.
Most of the additional seats will be deployed on three key domestic routes:
- Around 180,000 more seats will be offered between Christchurch and Auckland through a combination of extra frequency and moving to the larger A320s
- 110,000 more seats will be offered between Queenstown and Auckland as a result of increased flight frequency
- 135,000 more seats will be offered between Auckland – Wellington as a result of upgauging to A320s
Capacity will also increase between Christchurch and Queenstown, with more than 20,000 new seats added to the route.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Sales and Commercial Officer, Cam Wallace says the significant growth is driven by strong demand, particularly during peak months, and a positive economic outlook.
“Forecast economic growth is expected to boost domestic demand, particularly in the Canterbury region. And our investment of more than $1.2 billion in new domestic jet and turbo-prop aircraft is enabling us to increase the frequency of flights for our customers and to operate larger aircraft on regional routes where there is sufficient demand,” Mr Wallace says.
Air New Zealand’s regional network will also benefit from the increased capacity in the coming financial year, with the number of seats available into and out of some regions now set to increase by around 30 percent compared with FY15.
By way of example Whanganui – Auckland capacity will increase by 35 percent in FY16.
Auckland – Kerikeri will see more than 25,000 additional seats during the new financial year, there will be almost 20,000 additional fares on offer between Auckland and Napier and the Auckland – Taupo service will see an increase in capacity of more than 11,000 seats.
Mr Wallace says Air New Zealand is working with key regional stakeholders and tourism organisations to develop marketing strategies and events to further boost economic activity, particularly in the shoulder seasons.