Source : www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/news/3538868/Fewer-fliers-at-airport
Passenger numbers through Timaru's Richard Pearse Airport have dipped for a second year in a row, with no sign of a recovery in patronage. Eagle Air, an Air New Zealand subsidiary which flies the Timaru-Wellington route, has reported a 9 per cent drop in the year to March. While there are no changes planned to the existing service, the company has warned that passenger numbers need to increase. General manager Carrie Hurihanganui said the route had been hit hard by the recession and numbers did not look like recovering. "Eagle Air has needed to ensure it closely matches capacity to demand – we are now down to 19 [return] trips per week on this route versus 24 trips two years ago." Ms Hurihanganui said the 12 months to March 2009 saw a 14 per cent fall in passenger numbers. "The Timaru region demand seems to have been affected significantly by the economic downturn and there are no signs yet of a recovery. We continually monitor our network and route performance and while there are currently no changes planned for the service, we do need passenger numbers to improve again. "The key for regional routes, such as Timaru's, is for the local community to regularly support the services and increase that demand from and to the area."