Air New Zealand announced (09-Apr-2018) plans to launch two new routes across the Tasman from Dec-2017 and add an extra 15% seat capacity across all its Tasman services on a year-on-year basis. The expansion comes amid the end of the carrier's alliance with Virgin Australia. Air New Zealand will operate up to four times weekly Queenstown-Brisbane service from 18-Dec-2018, increasing the airline's total international capacity into Queenstown by 20%. It will also operate up to five times weekly Wellington-Brisbane service, an increase of 15% year-on-year or 20,000 seats. These new services will increase Air New Zealand's overall seat capacity to/from Brisbane by 44%. In addition to the new routes, Air New Zealand is adding significant extra trans Tasman capacity to/from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney from both Auckland and Christchurch from 28-Oct-2018:
- Auckland: The airline will introduce additional services on Sydney-Auckland and Melbourne-Auckland routes, increasing seat capacity on each route by more than 45,000 seats. The airline will also boost capacity between Brisbane and Auckland by more than 15% through the introduction of additional morning services;
- Christchurch: The airline will move to twice daily on peak days of the week from both Melbourne and Brisbane, and twice daily Monday to Friday from Sydney. This represents a 15% increase in capacity or around 35,000 extra seats on Christchurch trans Tasman routes alone.
Fares are on sale now for both the new routes and the additional seat capacity. Meanwhile all customers booked on an Air New Zealand ticket to travel on a Virgin Australia aircraft after 27-Oct-2018 will be moved across to Air New Zealand operated services in coming weeks. [more - original PR]