Auckland Airport is preparing for its first school holiday season at Alert Level 2, as thousands of Kiwis get ready to fly around the country.
Almost 21,000 travellers are expected to pass through Auckland Airport on Friday – one of the busiest days for air travel this September school holidays.
General manager operations Anna Cassels-Brown says there had been strong demand for travel during the school holidays, with domestic passenger numbers overall expected to reach around 70 per cent of those from the same school holiday period in 2019.
“We’re really excited to help Kiwis get away for their holidays, and we’re asking customers to play their part in protecting our country from the spread of COVID-19 to ensure everyone has a great and safe experience.
“During the last school holiday period in July, the whole country was still at Alert Level 1. This time around Auckland is at Alert Level 2, so it will be a different experience for customers travelling through Auckland Airport. We’ve got physical-distancing rules in place inside the terminal and we’re asking all customers to wear masks.”
Friday, October 2 and Friday, October 9 are expected to be the busiest days of the school holiday period, with more than 21,000 passengers expected on each day – around 70 per cent of the equivalent days in last September’s holidays.
With Air New Zealand adding extra flights and Jetstar restarting its domestic services, Christchurch is the most popular destination for Aucklanders getting out of town over the September holidays, followed by Wellington, Queenstown, Dunedin and Nelson.
All food and beverage operators in the domestic terminal are open for business, and retailers are anticipating a brisk trade.
Domestic passenger volumes for the September school holidays are forecast to be 16 per cent higher than in the July school holidays.
“We’re expecting the domestic terminal to be much busier than it has recently been, so we’re asking travellers to be prepared,” says Anna.
“Only customers with valid tickets to fly are allowed inside the terminal. Inside the building, travellers are asked to remember the advice from government to maintain physical distance from people you don’t know and wear a face covering when out in public.”
Anna says guest experience and operations staff would be on hand to assist travellers.
“Customers can help by having their ticket ready when they arrive – either a printout or on your smartphone. And once you’re inside the building, please wear a mask, keep your distance from others and scan the NZ COVID Tracer QR code.”
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Auckland Airport has increased the frequency of cleaning and sanitation inside the terminal. Going into the school holiday break, roadworks sites are also being carefully managed to minimise disruption for travellers.
“A lot of planning goes into school holiday travel periods, and we’ve worked closely with airlines and Aviation Security to make sure they’re aware of when passenger volumes are expected to peak, so they can also be prepared.”
The school holiday period runs from Friday, September 25 to Sunday, October 11.
Hot tips for travellers:
- Have proof of your ticket ready to show as soon as you reach the terminal door
- Maintain two metres physical distancing outside the building, and 1 metre inside the building
- Wear a mask when inside the terminal
- Scan one of the NZ COVID Tracer App QR codes displayed around the terminal
- When passing through aviation security, have your carry-on luggage ready to be scanned