Tis the season to be flying

Air New Zealand will be dashing through the skies this Christmas as tens of thousands of customers travel on its peak busiest day.
13 December 2022

Air New Zealand is expecting to fly 2.8 million customers around Aotearoa New Zealand and the world this summer as they make their way to their holiday destinations.

The airline is encouraging customers to plan ahead, add extra time, expect delays and be patient with airport staff and aircrew as sickness and shortages across the aviation industry coincide with what will be an extraordinarily busy time to fly.

The airline's busiest day of the year will be 23 December with more than 55,000 customers heading away on their holiday break – up from 31,000 last year when international borders were closed. That's a 77% increase in passenger numbers.

More than 50,000 customers are also expected fly on 15, 16, 22, 27 and 28 December.

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says this will be the first summer in three years where the airline's full network is operating, and airports will be busy.

"We're excited to connect so many Kiwis with their loved ones this Christmas and we want to help customers prepare for their holiday travel.

"While it's great to have more people travelling this year, it does come with some challenges. Flights will be packed, with lots of queues and extra baggage. As we prepare for a bumper summer, we're pulling out all the stops to take the friction out – with new aircraft, hiring 2200 more people, 300 airport volunteers and contingency plans in place for disrupts."

Even with the additional measures taken, the entire airport community will be under pressure.

"Airports, security screening and check in areas are going to be much busier than usual. We're asking customers to allow additional time to get to and through the airport they are travelling from and to be as patient as possible as our staff who are working to get everyone to their holiday destination," says Ms Geraghty.

Auckland to Christchurch will be the busiest route this Christmas and the airline is deploying its new A321neo aircraft to provide as many seats as possible for its customers.

Queenstown will be the busiest regional port with more than 6,000 people passing through the airport on 23 December.

The airline is asking customers to arrive at the airport at least three hours before their flight if travelling internationally, and at the very latest 60 minutes before their flight if travelling domestically. Travellers with pets, oversized bags, or requiring special assistance are asked to add a little more time to that.

Customers are also encouraged to take out travel insurance so they're covered in any unexpected situation and to sign up to Air New Zealand's Travel Alerts service in case we need to make contact with them in the event of any travel disruption.



Note: The dates of Air New Zealand's summer period mentioned above are 1 December to 31 January 2023.

Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.

Email: media@airnz.co.nz │Phone: +64 21 747 320│Twitter: @AirNZMedia

About Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand's story started in 1940, first taking to the skies between Auckland and Sydney on a flying boat - a Short S30. Known for its warm Kiwi hospitality, today, the airline has 98 operating aircraft ranging from Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A320s to ATRs and Q300s, offering customers comfort in the latest most efficient jets and turboprops. It's a modern fuel-efficient fleet with an average age of 6.7 years. Air New Zealand's global network of passenger and cargo services centres around New Zealand. Pre-Covid, the airline flew more than 17 million passengers every year, with 3,400 flights per week. Air New Zealand was recently named the World's Safest Airline by the Australian rating service AirlineRatings.com, highlighting the airline's laser-focus on safety. This year, Air New Zealand won Best Corporate Reputation in New Zealand – 8th year in a row.

Air New Zealand has a well-connected domestic business, connecting customers and cargo to 20 different regions around New Zealand. Internationally, the airline has direct flights to major cities across Australia, Asia, the Pacific Islands and the US, and through its strong relationships with alliance partners, offers customers more choice and convenience to connect further afield to hundreds of destinations. Air New Zealand has a particular focus on sustainability and its Sustainability Framework  helps guide the airline's efforts in tackling some of New Zealand's and the world's most complex challenges. Airpoints, Air New Zealand's loyalty programme, is seen as the most valuable loyalty programme in New Zealand with 3.5 million members. It allows members to earn Airpoints Dollars™ and Status Points for VIP benefits in the air and on the ground. Air New Zealand aircraft are proudly identified by its distinct tail livery of the Mangōpare, the Māori symbol of the hammerhead shark which represents strength, tenacity, and resilience.


About Star Alliance

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,321 airports in 193 countries.