Auckland Airport is expecting 15% more international passengers this summer and is advising travellers to allow another 30 minutes to get to and through the airport. It is drafting in students to help guide people through.
Flight Centre in New Zealand is advising international travellers to allow three hours to get through the airport normally and more during peak season: this month and next.
New Zealand’s success in tourism is hitting home. This month last year the number of passengers through the international airport was a record 781,000 and in January this year 817,000, and increase of 4.6%.
The warning comes as newcomer Philippine Airlines touches down today, the New Zealand Herald notes. Air China arrives from Beijing for the first time next week and Air New Zealand flies new long-haul routes to the US and South America shortly.
Auckland Airport’s general manager – aeronautical operations, Judy Nicholl, says December and January are the busiest months of the year at the airport.
“Known as the summer peak, this year we are expecting the number of passengers on some days to be more than 15% higher than last year.”
“Many of us have a standard routine when departing or arriving Auckland Airport. With that in mind, we recommend everyone allows an extra 30 minutes for travel through the airport over the next couple of months. This will help ensure they have a relaxed journey. They should also give themselves extra time to travel to and from the airport, given the amount of roadworks happening around the Auckland region this summer.
“To help support the growth in passenger numbers, Auckland Airport has recently increased its international baggage belt capacity by 40%, added 17,500 square metres to the airfield for aircraft parking, and next week we complete the construction of a new gate bus lounge on Pier B of the international terminal.
“We will also have extra staff in the terminals over summer to help passengers, and we have been working closely with airlines and border agencies to improve the passenger experience.”
The airport says passengers can play their part to help keep things moving at the airport this summer by:
- Allowing 30 minutes extra for their journeys through the airport.
- Ensuring their hand luggage meets airline requirements.
- Completing their international departure card before reaching Customs; and
- Ensuring any liquid, aerosol and gel containers in their hand luggage are not larger than 100ml, and are all placed in one re-sealable, transparent plastic bag (20cm x 20cm or smaller) and put in an easily accessible location.
Written by Peter Needham