25 May 2016
Sounds Air Taupo - 1 year on...
It has been nearly one year since Sounds Air began flying between Taupo and Wellington and the service is still going strong. Sounds Air took over the Taupo to Wellington flight service after Air New Zealand pulled its flights in April 2015. Taupo District Council signed a six year deal with the Marlborough-based air operator for them to provide three return flights each week day and two return flights on Saturdays and Sundays. The council guaranteed the first three seats in each flight meaning if they were empty ratepayers would pick up the tab. To date council has not had to purchase a single seat. "It was a bit slow to start," Sounds Air Managing Director and co-owner Andrew Crawford said. "We have been finding now it has been picking up. It takes a while for customers to move to something different." While it might be some time off yet Crawford said they would be looking at expanding their Taupo to Wellington service in the future. "The only change we would make is to increase it," he said. "We're watching it pretty closely." One thing that is definitely ruled out will up will be adding a larger aircraft on the route. "If Air New Zealand couldn't get it to work we won't be able to," Crawford said. Mayor David Trewavas was the first passenger on the flight 12 months ago and said the service has been vital for Taupo business. "When Air New Zealand pulled out the business community rallied behind and said they need a flight to Wellington," he said. "The other alternative was to go from Rotorua but then you have to have 2.5 hours of dead time. "The flight from Taupo takes just 45 minutes." Trewavas uses the flight often.
Source : Taupo Times, 24 May 2016
Ironically someone told me they were the only passenger on a recent Taupo-Wellington flight
Coverage of the first flight can be found at :
Posted by Steve L at 9:03 PM