Air New Zealand's school holiday schedule 'almost 90 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels'

Air New Zealand says it's ramping up its national schedule during the upcoming school holidays to almost 90 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels.

The airline put nearly 200,000 domestic airfares on sale last week after the Government announced an end to physical distancing requirements on planes.

Jetstar also announced its resumption of operations in Aotearoa last week as the amount of New Zealanders wanting to fly around the country surged.

"They will be giving a boost to local tourism operators, accommodation providers and rental car companies, and Air NZ is proud to be a part of that," says the airline's general manager of networks, Scott Carr.

"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

"We are also offering even more capacity over the school holidays on our Queenstown routes when compared with the same time last year and the July school holidays, with more than 73,000 seats available in and out of the resort town. Overall capacity to and from Queenstown will operate at 125 percent during the holidays compared to the same school holiday period last year." 

For the entire month of October, Air NZ says its schedule will be at 85 percent of pre-COVID-19 levels - which is impressive given that at least 20 percent of passengers on the airline's domestic network were international visitors pre-pandemic.

Customers are still required to wear face masks on Air NZ domestic flights while Auckland remains at COVID-19 alert level 2. The airline will provide them if passengers don't have their own.

From Thursday, food and drink will once again be served on all domestic flights, after being suspended during recent coronavirus restrictions.