Air New Zealand has published its traffic figures for April 2021, showing a huge rise in passenger numbers compared to the same period last year.

The airline carried 860,000 passengers this April, an increase of 5,603 per cent on the 15,000 customers flown in April 2020, when the onset of Covid-19 led to global lockdowns and travel restrictions.

Since then New Zealand has been widely praised for its approach to the pandemic, recording fewer than 3,000 cases and just 26 deaths according to the latest figures.

Domestic flights have long since resumed, and operated at an average load factor of 84.6 per cent in April. Domestic services accounted for some 811,000 of the 860,000 total passengers carried during the month.

The recent launch of the Trans Tasman bubble led to ANZ carrying 51,000 passengers between New Zealand and Australia over the month, although load factors were considerably lower than domestic services, at just 45.1 per cent.

Australia-New Zealand travel bubble confirmed

The airline carried just 4,000 long-haul passengers across the whole of April 2021, with New Zealand’s borders still largely closed.