New Zealand’s southernmost island, Invercargill, is starting to realise an upward surge in passenger traffic that closely resembles levels seen prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, travellers flocking to Invercargill can once again experience its storied ‘Southern Scenic Route’.
The country’s national air carrier, Air New Zealand, stated that flights to and from Invercargill Airport are now at 94% of the levels they were before Covid-19.
Increased flight frequencies expected to continue
During the Easter school break, Air New Zealand will be adding two additional direct flights from Invercargill (on select Saturdays) to the country’s most populated city, Auckland. This is in addition to the four flights a week between the two destinations, and serves as a strong indicator of passenger travel demand recommencing across the country.
Invercargill Airport Manager, Nigel Finnerty said: “It will be a great boost, and it will be good for people connecting to trans-Tasman flights.”
An Air New Zealand spokesperson was equally optimistic on Invercargill-bound travel, saying: “Outside of school holidays we will continue to operate four times a week Auckland-Invercargill returns throughout winter. Southland has a beauty and charm all its own, and we’re pleased to see New Zealanders getting out and discovering the rare wildlife and coastal scenery that makes Southland so special.”
“We’re getting back to good numbers. We’re in a much better position than we thought we’d be. We’re seeing lots of different types of people travelling. Business people are still travelling, but there are a lot of people travelling to visit friends and family, and people are coming to visit Southland more than in the past.”
Trans-Tasman travel to follow
On Monday 19 April 2021, travel will resume between Australia and New Zealand, and Invercargill Airport hopes to reap the benefits of this.
We’re feeling very positive about the bubble and hope that Southland will be a destination for a lot of people, I think it’s grown in status as a destination since Covid.
Invercargill Airport Manager, Nigel Finnerty
Whilst 12,000 miles might separate Invercargill from the United Kingdom, suffice to say that it is worth the journey for the most fruitful of travel experiences, with panoramic scenery awaiting.