08 December 2011

Central Otago Air Service Woes

In recent times there have been a couple of newspaper articles about air services to Central Otago...

While Queenstown is doing well with flights to Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, the Otago Chamber of Commerce is still looking for a Dunedin-Queenstown service...

Central Otago residents who regularly travel for business could benefit from the recent findings of the Otago Chamber of Commerce’s recent air transportation survey. The chamber has compiled its findings from the survey and the results have been presented to a commercial airline for further consideration. Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Christie said the aim of the survey had been to gauge the transportation requirements of those who travelled in the region, where they were going and what level of service was required. Finding out whether the region was well served for air transportation and the potential interest in an air link between Dunedin and Queenstown had also been a priority for the survey, Mr Christie said. The survey results showed 43% of respondents would use a Dunedin to Queenstown air service if one was available and 33% would use the service if the price was under $200 a ticket. ‘‘There’s definitely an increased desire for frequency of service in the area,’’ Mr Christie said. ‘‘If they were large players we think it’s worthy of further research as long term potential. Mr Christie said he believed the results were worth investigating, but a business case had to be established first.

Source : Rachel Harris, The News 27 October 2011

Meanwhile Eagle Air has confirmed its reduction to its Wanaka-Christchurch service

Wanaka’s scheduled air service is to revert to just one flight a day. Back in August last year Air New Zealand subsidiary Eagle Air began trialling two flights a day. Eagle Air CEO Carrie Hurihanganui says they worked hard with the local business and tourism sectors to try to make the new schedule work. “While the schedule changes over the past year have seen some growth in the market, other influencing factors such as seat factor, fare levels etc have not grown.” “Consequently with escalation in fuel costs and increases in operating costs, the poor performance of the route has significantly escalated.” Carrie says ongoing discussions with QAC and the Wanaka Airport Committee earlier this year on terminal facilities and their increased charges yielded on results and have added further cost pressure to the already struggling performance. Carrie says the decision to drop the extra flights doesn’t mean they are giving up on future growth out of Wanaka and they will continue to monitor the situation. The schedule changes will officially come into effect in late January. There is already a reduced schedule in early January, as in previous years, due to less business traffic at that time.

Source : http://wanakalive.com/news, 6 December 2011


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