26 April 2015
HQ Hamilton - Crews Nelson - Maintenance???
The chief executive of Kiwi Regional Airlines (KRA) says the business will be run from Hamilton, though the crew will be based in Nelson. The airline announced earlier this month that its crew would be in the South Island, creating 20 jobs in Nelson. Chief executive Ewan Wilson, who is a Hamilton City Councillor, said he hadn't lost faith in Hamilton airport. "What we've announced in Nelson refers to a crew base. There is a significant difference between a crew base and commercial headquarters." Wilson confirmed he would remain in Hamilton. He also said there would be other staff based in the city, but wouldn't confirm how many. He said Hamilton would not work as a crew base, "Not when you look at the route network". "The crew base needs to be where it is most sensible to swap crews in and out, and the one part of the country where our aeroplanes cross each day is in Nelson." Wilson said maintenance wouldn't be in Hamilton either, because planes would have only a 20-minute stop at the airport. "Maintenance is unlikely to happen in Nelson. I'm still determining where the final maintenance facility will be." He said maintenance would be at one of the other stops, indicating it would be at Palmerston North, Tauranga, or Queenstown. RKA had bought two Saab aircraft, which Wilson said would be enough to launch with. "We certainly have the option of getting a third, but our current plan calls for just two aircraft." Hamilton City Council's general manager of economic development Sean Muray said he wasn't up to date on KRA, but he was glad it would be operated from Hamilton. "If the central part of the business is going to be in Hamilton, that's quite good news for us."
Posted by Steve L at 8:29 PM