09 February 2015

Sounds Air for Greymouth???

Sounds Air, which has just been lined up as a replacement airline for Westport, says it will not rule out extending its new service flying from Greymouth to Wellington. After Air New Zealand announced it would end its Westport-Wellington service on April 28, the Buller District Council courted Picton-based Sounds Air to fly the route in smaller planes. Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn has written to the airline to convince them to extend that service to Greymouth. Sounds Air managing director Andrew Crawford will be in Greymouth this week to discuss the possibility. “It is great they decided to put back the service Westport to Wellington. They should extend the service to Greymouth. From a business point of view it would be a far better business plan using Greymouth and Westport as part of their service,” Mr Kokshoorn said. A number of years ago the Gloriavale Christian Community operated daily flights from Greymouth to Wellington, but it was competing against Air NZ. “We know it has worked from the past. When the Christian community had flights going the only problem was Air NZ, but you can (now) take them out of the equation.” Mr Kokshoorn said he expected there was demand to support a regular Greymouth-Wellington service again. “A huge amount of people come and go from the DHB alone.” Forty-two percent of the West Coast population lived in the Grey district – “the extra 100km (from Westport to Greymouth) just makes sense”. The Greymouth aerodrome had night lighting and was suitable for the Sounds Air plane. “We can really consolidate Sounds Air and help them make a permanent presence in Westport and Greymouth.” Mr Kokshoorn said most Greymouth people tended not to fly from Westport. “It makes sense. To get to Wellington from Greymouth you’ve got to go to Hokitika, fly to Christchurch, then fly from Christchurch. That is very expensive.” Mr Crawford told the Greymouth Star their current focus was on getting Westport set up, but he would not rule out a Greymouth option. “In fact, Greymouth will have a big part to play in this airline,” Mr Crawford said. They would have to evaluate the idea first. “You can’t just put it in and hope for the best, you have to see what the potential is and what the costs will be. There is a very real potential.” Sounds Air will fly 26 times a week between Westport and Wellington, using a modern pressurised nine-seat aircraft, a Pilatus PC12. Fares will cost $199 each way for adults, and $179 for children.

Source : Westport News


  1. Hmm. Air New Zealand's 75th anniversary present to the country whose taxpayers saved it from oblivion; pulling out of all the small provincial routes. Love Sounds Air. Let's hope they can step in to the gap, make a fist of it and do well.

  2. Those same tax payers who recieved over $1.4B back from their $880M investment! Those same tax payers who still recieve the income tax from a New Zealand company who returns a profit. How much has Jetstar, JetConnect returned in tax on profits to the New Zealand tax payer?

  3. I personally think it is brilliant what air nz has done and thr positive aspects and new opertunities it brings to all of these small operator's. think of it like a huge totara falling in the forest and creating a light well for new seedlings to take its place