Air New Zealand says record 110,000 airfares sold in one day due to COVID-19 rule change

Domestic airfares were on sale for as low as $39.
Domestic airfares were on sale for as low as $39. Photo credit: Lloyd Burr

More than 110,000 Air New Zealand airfares were bought yesterday following the Government announcing physical distancing would no longer be required on flights, the airline said.

Before COVID-19, Araraurangi or Air New Zealand would sell an average of 31,000 seats each day.

Following Monday's announcement, the airline released 180,000 sale airfares - with 160,000 of them available for under $50, resulting in record sales.

Air NZ's CEO Greg Foran said New Zealanders are clearly keen to get out and travel around Aotearoa.

"As soon as the Government announced the removal of physical distancing, travel demand was strong, with 70,000 seats sold in the first six hours," he said.

"From Tāmaki Makaurau - Tāhuna, Te Whanganui-a-Tara and Ōtautahi were hot destinations, and it's terrific to see customers snap up flights to Waihōpai, Whangārei and Kerikeri too."

Foran marked Te Wiki o Te Reo Māor i/ Māori Language Week by using te reo Māori in the media release.

"There was also strong demand for bookings for travel out of Ōtautahi and Te Whanganui-a-Tara," he continued.

"Kiwis have been incredibly supportive of our airline through what has been a difficult year and we look forward to welcoming more customers on board for their domestic trip soon."

While physical distancing is no longer required, passengers are still required to wear a mask.

Air NZ's lounges are open under COVID-19 alert level 2, but restrictions mean each lounge has a maximum capacity of 100 people. 

The airline is currently flying approximately 200,000 seats per week, which is around 70-75 percent of its pre-COVID-19 capacity.

Air NZ's competitor Jetstar announced it is returning to New Zealand's skies following the Government's physical distancing announcement. It will begin flying between Aotearoa's main centres from September 17.