31 May 2016

Air NZ abandons plan to scrap Whangarei flights

12:19 pm on 31 May 2016

Air New Zealand has abandoned a plan to scrap early morning flights out of Whangarei, after protest from politicians and business people.

Check-in for Air New Zealand flights

Photo: 123rf.com

Air New Zealand has abandoned a plan to scrap early morning flights out of Whangarei, after protest from politicians and business people.

The airline was proposing to change the first flight of the day from 7am to 8am.

Whangarei MP Shane Reti said the company had listened to the community and agreed to maintain the early Whangarei flight.

It is also scheduling new 8.30am connecting flights to Wellington and Christchurch, which will suit Northland business travellers.

But Northland MP Winston Peters said the airline's new flight schedule for Bay of Islands airport was still problematic.

Its latest plan is to have the first flight leave Kerikeri at 6am, and Mr Peters said that was too early for people who had to drive from afar to get to the airport.

Air New Zealand is also planning to increase its flights in and out of Tauranga.

The airline will reinstate an early morning service to Christchurch, departing at 6.05am.

It also plans to operate up to 10 new weekly services between Tauranga and Auckland.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand announced yesterday that it was pulling out of Whanganui, as well as axing flights from Blenheim to Christchurch.

The airline's general manager of networks Richard Thomson said the loss-making Whanganui to Auckland and Blenheim to Christchurch services did not have sufficient demand to sustain 50-seat aircraft and it would end on 31 July.

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