SINGAPORE – Travellers heading to the Land of the Long White Cloud will soon have more reasons to cheer, with 35,000 seats to be added to flights between Auckland and Singapore from end-March to October starting next year.

Joint venture partners Air New Zealand and Singapore Airlines (SIA) announced the increased seat capacity on Wednesday (Aug 14), amid growing travel demand between the two countries.

Air New Zealand will increase the frequency of its flights to 14 services per week, up from 12, on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft from March 29 to Oct 24 next year, bringing the total number of services operated by the two airlines to 21 per week.

SIA will also deploy its larger A380 aircraft, instead of its scheduled Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, to meet strong demand over the Easter peak period next year.

Tickets for the new Air New Zealand- and SIA-operated service are available for sale from Wednesday, the airlines said in their joint statement.

In the statement, Air New Zealand chief strategy networks and alliances officer Nick Judd noted growing demand from customers at both ends of the route.

“These increases will allow customers the option of three daily, year-round flights between Auckland and Singapore, giving customers more options to travel point to point, as well as onwards to a range of destinations throughout India, Europe and South-east Asia via Singapore,” he said.

Mr Judd added that there was a 12 per cent increase in tourism figures from New Zealand to Singapore last year.

SIA senior vice-president of marketing planning Tan Kai Ping said: “We are very pleased to be working closely with Air New Zealand to deliver a greater number of travel options to our customers between Singapore and New Zealand.”

Wednesday’s announcement comes after the two airlines said over the past six months that they will be increasing the capacity of flights on the Christchurch-Singapore and Wellington-Singapore routes.

These flights are also part of the joint venture agreement between the two airlines.