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Smooth Take Off: Thousands On Board As Domestic Air Travel Reopens To And From Auckland

The first day of domestic travel brought the buzz back to Auckland Airport after more than 100 days of travel restrictions.

People began arriving in the terminal just after 5am ready to catch the first flights out of Auckland, said Anna Cassels-Brown, General Manager Operations at Auckland Airport.

“After four months of very limited travel in and out of Auckland it was great to see the domestic terminal coming back to life this morning.

“I was in the terminal yesterday and the contrast with today couldn’t be greater. We’ve gone from an average of 600 travellers per day to more than 20,000 travellers today,” she said.

“The place is buzzing, and all our staff are really excited that it has gone off so well. Even though they are wearing masks you can see the smiles – they’re just so happy to be looking after more customers once again.”

Traveller numbers will build over the coming weeks to peak on the Thursday 23 December with more than 27,000 people travelling in and out of Auckland Airport’s domestic terminals.

She said that while it will be busy in the terminal over the holiday period it’s still lower than the pre-COVID traveller numbers.

“On our busiest days heading into Christmas before the pandemic we would have consistently had around 30,000 people through each day, so we know the terminal can handle the current volumes.”

Anna’s advice for travellers coming out to the airport in the coming weeks is to expect a few differences to the air travel experience.

“One is that you have to wear a mask in the terminal as well as during your flight. I was in the terminal earlier today and didn’t see a single customer or worker not wearing a mask, which shows just how great we Aucklanders are at doing the right thing.

“The second piece of advice is to make sure you are at the terminal a good hour before your flight for the extra checks on vaccine passes or the negative COVID test which will be done during airline check-in and could create some delay. There is a little bit of extra stuff that is different, so just be ready for it, and I’m confident it will go smoothly for you and all of us.”

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