Auckland Airport's biggest weekend of travel since the pandemic

14 April 2022

The reopening of international travel and two long weekends combined with school holidays on both sides of the Tasman will see a bumper Easter weekend of travel at Auckland Airport.

Around 33,000 passengers are expected to go through the international terminal over the Easter Weekend with Good Friday being the busiest day since the start of the pandemic.

“With around 10,000 travellers arriving and departing Auckland Airport tomorrow on 25 arriving and 25 departing flights, the international terminal will be buzzing,” said Scott Tasker, General Manager Aeronautical Commercial.

“Although it’s still only around a third of the number of travellers we would have had pre-pandemic, it’s a 931% increase in international travel from Easter last year, which fell just a couple of weeks ahead of the trans-Tasman bubble opening,” Mr Tasker said.

At the domestic terminal around 60,000 passengers are expected to be flying in and out across the weekend – a 22% dip compared to Easter weekend last year – with Good Friday the busiest day of the weekend.

“With all this action there’s been a lot of behind the scenes planning and collaboration between the various organisations – from the airlines to the government border agencies – so everyone in the airport system knows what to expect on any given day, pretty much down to the minute, and has got the right plans in place to meet demand.”

Although Kiwis have maintained the travel habit exploring New Zealand, it has been a couple of years since most of us have travelled internationally, said Mr Tasker.

“While overall the international travel experience will be just as people remember it, there’s a few more health protections in place now, and we’re asking everyone to carefully check they have met all the requirements for travel before leaving for the airport.

“One thing I would strongly recommend is making sure that if you need a pre-departure COVID test for any of your destinations to get it done at your local pharmacy or health provider – it’s going to make things a lot less stressful for you. There is no need to panic though, we know life can get a bit hectic or the rules for your destination might be unclear so if you do get to the airport there are emergency options available.

“We’ve got pharmacies on-precinct, a PCR testing option in the terminal, and over the holiday period a rapid antigen testing pop-up at the terminal. So, while we ask you make sure this is all done before you leave for the airport, if you discover something isn’t right with your test – there is an emergency option available.

“And my big piece of advice if you’re travelling internationally in the next wee while is to just make sure you carefully read the emails you get from your airline or travel agent – they’re going to be providing you with all the current travel information. It will all help get your wonderful trip off to good start.”

Top tips for a successful take off:

  • Your airline or travel agent will be sending important information about check-in times, pre-flight declarations, any COVID testing requirements for your destination, and the like – please take the time to read it thoroughly and get familiar with what you need to do before leaving home
  • Before checking in for your return flight, make sure you have completed the testing and health declaration requirements for your return to New Zealand. This currently incudes completing the New Zealand Traveller Declaration form online, which asks for evidence of a pre-departure test and vaccine certificate. More information can be found at Home | New Zealand Traveller Declaration
  • While we strongly recommend getting a certified COVID test at a community pharmacy or health provider before you arrive at the airport, we do have onsite options for PCR tests and last minute RATs if needed. More information is available on the Auckland Airport website.
  • Give yourself plenty of time pre-departure to get checked in, especially if you’re on an early morning or midday flight when the airport is at its busiest
  • Auckland Airport’s roading network has been upgraded over the past couple of years, with final construction stages still taking place – take care while driving, particularly in and around the international terminal
  • Help Aviation Security screening queues move smoothly by having your laptop out and ready to place in the x-ray tray, taking car keys and phones out of your clothing pockets, and emptying refillable water bottles
  • A core group of international terminal retailers, duty free, and food and beverage outlets are open but if you’re planning travel in the next few weeks, then check our website to see what is available at the time of your travel. In these first couple of weeks as more outlets confirm re-opening plans, for very late-night flights or if travelling with children we recommend you plan to bring some extra snacks and travel essentials. Retail, cafes, and bars in the domestic terminal are operating as normal
  • All car parks are open, including Park & Ride which is reopening for international as well as domestic travellers from 14 April, with public transport, rideshare and taxis available at both terminals.