29 April 2016

Q300s in Taupo

New 50-seater flights between Auckland and Taupo has been a big boost for the tourism trade according to Mayor David Trewavas. Air New Zealand switched from 19-seat aircraft earlier this year to the bigger Q300 aircraft and reduced airfares. The service has been 70 per cent full ever since. Mayor David Trewavas said the extra numbers coming from Auckland was good news for the region. ‘‘We’re getting increased tourist traffic which is a big industry for our region. ‘‘It’s possible to do quick day trips without much travel time.’’ Trewavas said the reduction in the fare price was a factor in the increased traveller numbers. ‘‘You can get a flight from $59 if you book ahead or $79 if you do it overnight,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s extremely good for Taupo and the tourist operators are seeing the rewards.’’ The flow-on effects from the increased traffic could also mean an upgrade to Taupo’s terminal as more passengers have pushed facilities to their limit with talk of an upgrade on the cards. In the Taupo Airport Authority General Manager’s report Mike Groome said the additional baggage, passengers and greeters at the terminal have caused them to investigate what can be done to upgrade the terminal. Air New Zealand made major cuts to its regional network in April and closed its Taupo to Wellington service. Trewavas said when Air New Zealand stopped operating the Taupo to Wellington flights, which was then picked up by Sounds Air, they made a commitment to upgrade their other services. Representatives from Air New Zealand were in Taupo last week to take in some of the sights and see first hand what the region had to offer. After taking a spin on the Huka Jet the group headed to the Prawn Park and took in other tourist attractions in the region to assist in their marketing. ‘‘It helps us get a sense of the area and how we can best market it,’’ Head of Government and Industry Affairs Duncan Small said.

Source : Taupo Times, 15 April 2016

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