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Dashing through the sky: Air New Zealand ready for busiest day of holiday season

As Kiwis eagerly await their presents to appear under their tree this Christmas, Air New Zealand says it's preparing for the 100,000 passengers set to fly around the country for the holiday.

As Kiwis eagerly await their presents to appear under their tree this Christmas, Air New Zealand says it’s preparing for the 100,000 passengers set to fly around the country for the holiday.

Today is expected to be the busiest day for Air New Zealand this holiday season, with more than 31,000 customers booked to travel domestically.

Over 30,000 passengers are booked to fly on Christmas Eve, with around 15,000 travelling on Christmas Day itself.

Air New Zealand Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty says the airline is excited to be able to help connect Kiwis with their friends and whānau this Christmas.

“It’s such a special time of year to spend with your loved ones, so we’re thrilled to be helping people connect all around the country, from Invercargill to Hokitika to Kerikeri.”

The busiest route this Christmas is Auckland to Christchurch, with Nelson taking out the top spot for the most popular regional destination.

“Passengers can expect the usual friendly welcome and cheer from our crew, along with a side of Cookietime cookies, popcorn and bliss bites to stash for Santa or in the Christmas stocking.”

From now until the end of January, about 600,000 passengers are expected to fly throughout the country with Air New Zealand.

Around half of those customers are flying in or out of Auckland.

Trans-Tasman
Heartwarming scenes at Auckland Airport earlier this year.

2022 will also be off to a busy start with more than 90,000 customers expected to travel over the New Year period between December 31st and January 4.

The check-in process will look a little different than usual for those travelling this summer, with all customers aged 12 or older required to show proof of either full vaccination or of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of travel.

“The process is running pretty smoothly already, and we have had more than 200,000 customers upload their My Vaccine Pass to their Airpoints profile.”

Lockdown Auckland
Auckland, New Zealand

When it comes to international travel, New Zealand has announced it will be postponing its phased border re-opening plans until the end of February over concerns of the rapid global spread of Omicron.

Non-quarantine travel, which was to have opened for New Zealanders in Australia from 16 January, would be pushed back another month and a half, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said at a press conference in Wellington.

New Zealand also said the length of stay in state quarantine facilities would be increased from a week to 10 days.

“Even though it may not be as soon as we had hoped, when the day comes our team will be standing tall, with a big smile, ready to welcome customers on board once again,” said Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran.