Air New Zealand is to return its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to service in July, amid a ramp-up of trans-Tasman and transpacific operations. 

The airline says it will be relaunching 14 international routes over a period of 16 days in late-June to early July. Cities include Honolulu and Houston in the USA, Tahiti, as well as Hobart and Cairns in Australia. 

Air New Zealand 777-300ER

Source: FlightGlobal file photo

With the restart of the 14 routes, Air New Zealand says it will be operating at 60% pre-pandemic international capacity, with about 75% of international and domestic routes restored. 

The move to bring back the 777-300ERs will add about 40,000 seats weekly to its network, says the airline. 

Air New Zealand parked the 777s amid the pandemic, as the country shut its borders to the world to keep the coronavirus out. When border restrictions were lifted, it began operating its 787-9s on international routes. 

Cirium fleets data shows that the airline has seven 777-300ERs in its fleet.