Air New Zealand (ANZ) plans to add more than 9,500 additional seats per week across its regional network.
"The additional capacity is being introduced as we start to see signs of the anticipated recovery in demand for domestic travel within New Zealand," says Bruce Parton, group general manager Australasia.
Regional capacity will increase on the following routes: Tauranga-Christchurch, Invercargill-Wellington, New Plymouth-Christchurch, Palmerston North-Christchurch, Palmerston North-Auckland, and Napier-Auckland.
The Tauranga-Christchurch route will get the biggest boost, with a doubling in flights to eleven return services from five a week.
Capacity increases on services between Palmerston North and Auckland, Napier and Auckland, and Palmerston North and Christchurch are a result of upgrading the aircraft used on these routes to 68-seat ATR aircraft from 50-seat Bombardier Q300 aircraft, says ANZ.
ANZ's plans to expand its capacity follows Virgin Blue's announcement this month that it would exit the New Zealand domestic market.
Australian low-cost carrier Jetstar has also said it plans to expand its New Zealand operations and base another two aircraft there.