Virgin Australia says it remains committed to its Newcastle to Auckland flights despite announcing in August that it was reviewing routes and slashing costs.
Virgin announced a $349 million full-year loss two months ago and said it would cut 750 staff to save $75 million and reduce flights.
"We intend to further reduce flying across elements of our short-haul international and our domestic network to match our strategic positioning and the market conditions as well as to maximise route profitability," Virgin boss Paul Scurrah said at the time.
"This may involve potential withdrawals from certain markets which are uneconomical for us."
Industry analysts said this could mean an end to some routes serving regional cities and New Zealand, the latter of which face strong competition from Qantas and Air New Zealand.
Virgin's loss announcement came a month after Newcastle Airport announced it had extended by three years its deal with the airline to fly to Auckland for 13 weeks each summer.
Virgin said on Monday that it was "always reviewing our network and demand but remain committed to our Auckland-Newcastle seasonal route".
An analysis of Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics data by Australian Aviation magazine shows Virgin flew 71 times between Newcastle and Auckland last summer, carrying 3493 passengers inbound and 3194 outbound.
The figures suggested inbound flights operated at 55 per cent of capacity and outbound 52 per cent.
The first Auckland service of this summer will leave Newcastle on November 21.
Airport chief executive Peter Cock said Williamtown had set a new record for passenger numbers in the year to June 30.
"Sales for our upcoming Auckland season, which is less than three weeks away, are significantly up on last year, which is a very exciting result for our region," Dr Cock said.
"We very much look forward to continuing to work with Virgin Australia to develop and grow this route over the three years that make up our current deal.
"Equally, we will continue to look for other international and interstate destinations to add to our offering and ensure we continue to be the airport our region deserves."
He said passenger numbers were up again in the current financial year, including a 4.6 rise in September compared with the corresponding month last year.
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