Domestic flights in New Zealand are cheap and plentiful, assuming you don’t fly at the same times as commuters. At peak times there can be up to three flights leaving from Wellington to Auckland, and all regional airports are served by Air New Zealand and others. If you time it right, flights over the Cook Strait can be cheaper than the ferry. Here’s a list of airlines that offer domestic flights in New Zealand.
Air New Zealand
The largest number of domestic flights are with Air New Zealand and they fly to all the regional airports you probably want to go to. If you are booking internationally you may get deals by booking your domestic flights at the same time. For discounted deals subject to restrictions, check out GrabASeat which offers rock bottom prices for domestic, and some international flights and sign up to their early morning email alerts – they sell quickly!
JetStar offers internal flights from Auckland, Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington and international flights to Australia from all but Wellington. The international flights are all to Australia, with some being seasonal. From March 2011 JetStar will also be flying from Auckland to Singapore.
Pacific Blue flies domestically between Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. International flights can be made from Auckland to the Pacific Islands (Tonga, Samoa, Rarotonga). You can also fly to Australia (Brisbane, Gold Coast, Melbourne or Sydney) from the three main cities as well as Dunedin, Hamilton, Christchurch, Queenstown – although available destinations depend where you fly from.
The above are the main airlines flying domestically but the following regional airlines also fly internally, but concentrate on inter-island, scenic and charter flights.
Air2There is a local airline focussing mainly on flights between the North and South Island. The main airports Air2There serve are Blenheim, Nelson and Wellington but also Levin, Otaki and Paraparaumu.
Like Air2There, SoundsAir focusses on inter island flights from Wellington to and from Blenheim, Nelson and Picton. Flights to Picton start at $86 which isn’t too far off a foot passenger on the ferries which is around $49 but takes 3 hours as opposed to the 40 minute flight .
You can compare the main airlines prices using the WebJet website – this also includes international flights.
Note that it’s always worth signing up to the airlines email subscription services to hear about their deals first. It is known for cheap domestic flights to be available from as little as $20.
Do you know of any domestic air services we’ve missed above? Please let us know using the comments below.