Wellington Airport’s domestic capacity set to match pre-Covid levels

13 Aug 2021

Wellington Airport, photo taken by Mark Tantrum

Today is on track to be one of Wellington Airport’s busiest days this year, with almost 20,000 seats scheduled in and out of the Capital – closely in line with the busiest day so far on 18 June, which saw 20,900 seats through the airport.

Mike Vincent, Wellington Airport’s Manager Airline Development, said: “For the past few months, domestic travel has been really strong. From May to July, we reached 89 per cent of pre-Covid passenger levels, and based on current schedules, we are expecting airlines to operate around 530,000 seats in August, matching pre-Covid capacity. Partly this is due to popular Wellington-based events like Visa Wellington On a Plate and Beervana attracting people to the City, Kiwis’ desire to see more of NZ while the borders are closed, and a stronger than anticipated recovery in business travel”.

WellingtonNZ GM David Perks said: “Wellington is a gourmands’ paradise this weekend and throughout August. Beervana and Burger Wellington kicks off today while the delights offered up via Visa Wellington on a Plate continue throughout August.

“It is the southern hemisphere’s largest food festival so it’s not surprising that Kiwis want to visit and get a taste of the Capital.”

Vincent said: “Air New Zealand has added a significant amount of regional capacity in response to demand, and Jetstar is also continuing to rebuild Wellington capacity, operating more than 90 per cent of -pre-Covid domestic capacity in Wellington this month. We are also seeing our smaller operators such as Sounds Air, Air Chathams, OriginAir and Golden Bay carrying more passengers in response to domestic demand”.

Regional demand in particular is recovering strongly with some routes selling more seats now than pre-Covid. This includes Hamilton, up 24 per cent, Queenstown, up 15 per cent and Dunedin and Tauranga, both up 10 per cent.

“Wellington Airport is happy to see domestic travel holding up so well despite international border closures. This supports our employees and all workers and travellers who depend on the airport.

“We strongly support the Government’s signal of direction and intent to open borders and enable more travel in the medium term. This will connect Kiwis to loved ones, make it easier for people to return home, and ultimately bring in foreign visitors as well. In the meantime, we are hopeful a trans-Tasman reopening is possible when reviewed by the Government in September and are monitoring this closely.”