Air New Zealand bracing for huge holiday traffic

by Kim Bowden - Mar 27, 2024

The Southern Lakes and Central Otago are two of the most popular spots in the country for visitors this Easter, as Air New Zealand prepares for a huge long weekend of air travel.

And the travel is not expected to slow, with the April school holidays on the horizon also.

In a statement this morning, Air New Zealand says more than one-million people are expected to fly with the airline over both Easter and the school break.

It is picking tomorrow, Thursday, March 27, to be the busiest day for travel over the period, with 54,000 fliers due onboard flights.

By the end of the holiday weekend, close to quarter-of-a-million will have flown with them.

Air New Zealand says a fair chunk of them will be heading to Queenstown and surrounds.

This year the last day for the school term for most is Friday, April 12, and the airline is planning for 52,000 fliers that day - and the same again the following Friday, the start of the middle weekend of the holidays.

Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty says Easter and the school holidays are separate this year, and customers are making the most of both opportunities to travel.

“Easter is early this year, but we’re seeing plenty of appetite for travel, with many of our customers setting off on Thursday to maximise the long weekend. We’ll be sweetening things up by serving hot cross buns and Easter eggs in our lounges.

“With 227,000 customers travelling over the weekend, it will be busy, so we recommend allowing a little extra time at the airport to get through security."

The airline says over the school holidays, it will be flying 790,000 customers in total - up 13 percent on the same holidays last year.

Some 519,000 of them will be on domestic flights and 271,000, international, with the most popular offshore destinations being Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Singapore and Los Angeles.

School holiday customers include more than 4,000 unaccompanied minors and 250 pets, the airline says. 

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