Air New Zealand has announced that it will add further flights to its domestic schedule when New Zealand enters Alert Level 2. This is a phase where COVID-19 is considered to be contained in the country, but the risk of community transmission remains.

Yachts at sunrise in Auckland, New Zealand
Yachts at sunrise in Auckland, New Zealand © Martyn Seddon/500px

The airline plans to operate to the majority of its domestic ports from 18 May, and will restart services to Taupo and Timaru as demand allows. Chief Executive Officer, Greg Foran, says the airline plans to operate around 20% of its usual domestic capacity compared to pre-COVID-19 levels during this phase. “Level 2 will see the return of flying to the likes of Queenstown, Invercargill and Blenheim in the South Island and Rotorua, Gisborne, Palmerston North, New Plymouth, Hamilton, Whangarei and Kerikeri in the north," he says. "This comes on top of current flights to support essential service travel between Auckland and Christchurch, Wellington, Tauranga and Napier, as well as between Wellington-Christchurch, Wellington-Nelson and Christchurch-Dunedin."

A colourful shopping street in Christchurch
A colourful shopping street in Christchurch © Alf Manciagli/Shutterstock

The airline has also announced that it will resume flights from Christchurch to Hokitika from 25 May. Additional routes to resume during Level 2 include Christchurch-Hamilton from 18 May, Auckland-Rotorua and Christchurch-Hokitika from 25 May, and Auckland-Blenheim, Auckland-Dunedin, Christchurch-Tauranga and Wellington-Dunedin from 1 June. Additional routes and frequencies will be reintroduced back into the schedule as demand permits. Customers are advised that the airline's schedule for these additional routes is currently only available up until 7 June.

View of Hobart from the top of mt Wellington, Tasmania
View of Hobart from the top of Mt Wellington, Tasmania © Posnov/Getty Images

The airline is also working to implement additional health protocols, and before making a booking, travellers are reminded to check the latest information on the travel and transportation section of the New Zealand Government COVID-19 website and the COVID-19 hub on the Air New Zealand website.

Keep up to date with Lonely Planet's latest travel-related COVID-19 news here.

You might also like:

New Zealand and Australia may introduce exclusive 'travel bubble' arrangement

Singapore's Changi has been named the world’s best airport - again

What are health passports and will they help you travel again?

Explore related stories

Campervan beside Lake Taupo, North Island, New Zealand

Destination Practicalities

Your ultimate guide to getting around New Zealand

Oct 22, 2023 • 5 min read