120,000 people are expected to travel on international flights from Auckland Airport during the school holidays. Photo/Alex Burton
Travelers heading to Auckland Airport are urged to use alternative modes of transport amid the biggest increase in parking demand since 2019.
Booking demand at the airport’s long-term Park and Ride is up 87% this month, compared to the number of bookings in July 2019 before the pandemic.
“We are really excited to welcome travelers back for the July school holidays and while everyone in aviation is doing their best to keep up, we are encountering challenges with unprecedented demand for parking,” said Scott Tasker, general manager of customers at Auckland Airport. .
Around 120,000 people are expected to depart on international flights from Auckland during the school holidays this month, almost 50% more than during the April holidays.
Tasker said more and more travelers heading to the airport by private vehicle were increasingly booking parking in advance and staying much longer than usual.
“Parking stay lengths for international travelers increased by 42% compared to July 2019, with customers staying an average of 16 days instead of 11 days,” he said.
“Meanwhile, at the domestic terminal, parking stay durations were 24% higher this month compared to July 2019.”
The increase in demand meant that airport parking capacity was now limited and no further online bookings were expected to be available until July 24 in domestic and international car parks.
Valet bookings have also ended, with demand up 34% this month compared to July 2019 and staff shortages reducing service availability.
“We want to avoid unnecessary disruption as much as possible for customers going to the airport and wanting to park their car, so we let people know in advance,” Tasker said.
“With limited availability, we encourage people to consider alternative means of transport, such as a taxi, carpool or SkyDrive bus, which operate to and from Auckland CBD.”
He said travelers can take advantage of half-price public transport fares to take the train-bus connection via Puhinui Station and AirportLink.
Pick-up and drop-off areas will continue to operate as normal, with parking for mobility parking permit holders. People requiring short-term parking will be accommodated.
Tasker said those with existing parking reservations will also be supported.
The airport has 9,000 parking spaces spread over eight car parks, including Park and Ride.