Auckland Airport: It's the busiest day of the year, so expect delays

Even though a planned strike by engineering staff has been called off, travellers should still expect delays at Auckland Airport on Friday.

Air New Zealand is bracing itself for the busiest day of the year. The airline is set to fly 40,000 people out of Auckland Airport.

Auckland Airport general manager Todd Grace says they've spent months preparing.

"We start planning for Christmas around about September - so that means additional people, additional equipment."

Mr Grace warns travellers expect longer queues, and allow plenty of time for travel.

"It gets busy in the airport, it gets busy around the airport. Give yourself time to get a carpark, give yourself time to travel on the roads. It takes a little bit longer to get through the airport at this time of the year."

Despite the busy day ahead, Mr Grace says staff spirits are flying high.

"The people that work at the airport get a real kick out of the fact they're contributing to people being where they want to be at Christmas, spending time with their families and loved ones."

Auckland Airport's general manager of operations Anna Cassels-Brown told Newshub earlier this week this summer is predicted to be the airport's busiest in history, with international travellers merging with locals moving around Aotearoa over the holidays.

"This year will be at least 10 percent busier than last summer, so it's important to be prepared for that.

"Even with the changes we've made, there's still a need for travellers to be prepared if they're coming to the airport on the festive season's key dates."

One plane took an hour to find a free gate on Thursday to let passengers disembark, NZME reported, and there were delays on Wednesday when a truck hit a cyclist near the airport.

Newshub.