27 July 2016

Checking out Christchurch

Checking out Christchurch today was Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12 ZK-PLX.
Sounds Air start a Blenheim-Christchurch service next replacing Air New Zealand's service on that route


  1. Cool! Locals, get behind your airline and make it work :-)

  2. They actually offer a lot of connection flights from Christchurch with aircraft change en route. You can now book multiple leg flights with Sounds Air on their website. Eg CHC to Westport, Kapiti Coast and Taupo via Blenheim and Wellington etc. Getting themselves organized now.

    1. True but the costs are prohibitive and in many cases not competitive.

      CHC - PPQ via BHE is probably cheaper to go via AKL with Air NZ or just fly to WLG and take the train.

      CHC - BHE -WLG - WSZ is also crazy. Nobody would do that.

      Can see your point, this has been possible to book connecting tickets since the days they were flying from WAG.

    2. Great to see the options are there and the prices are what they are because Sounds Air is a professional, commercial operation. I'm sure they're doing it at the best price possible while maintaining profitability. Isn't that what any business is about?

    3. Christchurch to Westport for instance is $496 one way.

    4. People run to justify sounds air prices but when it was air NZ with exactly the same reasons that wasn't acceptable.

    5. How fares were charged has changed...

      NAC/Air NZ used to charge set fares... very little discounts available. BUT if you were travelling from HKK to AKL for example, it wouldn't be the HKK-CHC fare + the CHC-AKL fare.

      Now to do the same you add the sector fares together. Also Air NZ have a wide range of discount fares which are good if you book early but if you have to book late fares can be horrific. For business traffic this is not a problem - for people going to a funeral (and I know compassionate grounds may apply) it can be prohibitive. This is the Air NZ model

      For many people there are never enough cheap seats - especially on the Beech 1900 routes
      For many people they want only cheap seat fares no matter when you book
      Neither is reasonable for making a profit = staying airborne

      The Sounds Air model is different - one fare no matter when you book.

      People complain there are never any cheap seats.

      Sounds Air stays airborne by making a reasonable middle of the road fare - trying to keep fares affordable enough to keep bums on seats

      Neither is right or wrong... It's just a different model. There is no conspiracy against Air NZ... it's just people always want bus fares when they fly

    6. The fare structure air NZ and the rest of the worlds full service carriers use is the right one for large aircraft.

      Fixed fares mean airlines cannot forecast demand as easily as there is no incentive to book ahead of time.
      A fixed fare can seem more palatable at last minute. However as we know regional aircraft cost more to run per seat than large jets.
      The fixed price can and is out of reach to many travelers who rely on loss leader fares to travel affordably. This is now true for many people in TUO and WSZ who can no longer consider the air service.

      The compassionate traveller system is in place and needs to be robust. If it was easy and had gaps it would be abused and used to rip off the company. Remember these seats are the ones that made the whole service viable.
      Air travel is only a fraction of the overall cost to travel when someone has died. Rental cars, taxis, accommodation meals away from home - none of that receives a compassionate travel rate and the totals soon add up.

      The aircraft is split into, four domestic fares upto 55 seperate fare groups. 4 options within each fare class, eg W fare - Flexi time.
      This means a wide range of fares equally spread out. the loss leader seats are offset but the most expensive seats which will sell later on. In some cases they don't sell and the service operates at a loss having only sold the entry level fares.

      through tickets are indeed run on a seperate fare structure again, despite the perception here. Offering upto 55 seperate combinations on most domestic flights. Some are simple X + X and others are not.
      Booking your tickets using multi city can save money as sometimes the through ticket can be more expensive than the individual point to point. When booking multi city you can pair your own connections giving freedom to move away from well subscribed flights to a cheaper less full option.
      Booking flexible here means you could potentially swap into that more expensive flight you actually wanted if there is seats on the day - many frequent flyers are onto that.

      Code share agreements and large international itineraries are where things get murky. This is how Jetstar will raise its yeild without being noticeable. Palmerston to Dallas via Akl and LAx on JQ and AA will hide theb true costs within the ticket.

    7. "People run to justify sounds air prices but when it was air NZ with exactly the same reasons that wasn't acceptable"


      The same goes for when Air New Zealand was castigated for their withdrawal of services from the likes of Whanganui and Kaitaia despite years of trying to make them work.

      I didn't see any ill informed, hysterical vitriol when Soundsair failed with Whanganui and subsequently quit after only a few months.

    8. Over a year is hardly only a few months.
      You sir must be uninformed and hysterical.

  3. First up is think sounds air model is the best and Yip, it's been a little while now that you could book through their entire network, ie Taupo to Westport..
    Sounds air is very black and white with no grey area when it comes to their pricing such as their "what you see is what you pay, whether is a year out or that day and no hidden extras" which I love, which extends to their multiple destinations. Where you are paying for each sector and it works so well for them which makes keeps Sounds Air gowing but...
    It would be cool if they could, now that they have such a comprehensive and growing network.. to look at what savings/discounts they could offer but keeping profitable ( of course in their tried and true a black and white manner as in a set amount) if you are going to be flying a mulitstop route.. very much like what they offer right now with their discount rates when you buy their 10 flights card even if it is only a few dollars.. also.. they could look into (with very strict t/cs) discounts for standby fares... for arguments sake. Taupo to Wellington $219 but if you wait at the airport until the very last moment where you can't book online, you get to go on board for say 100-150..? Making something out of a seat as a posed to making nothing from a seat must be a good thing right..? Hey if you are needing to get to a meeting or a booked whatever? You will never risk it and book in advance esp for a business men/women, Sounds air shouldn't be losing too much or anything should they offer that..? Ha then again there is a reason why I failed maths and is not a business consultant or a airline operator. Just saying what sounds logical in my head. But there may be hidden (loss making) costs involved with flying extra fuel/weight or having tills at the checkout gate as a pose to keeping that unpaid seat free etc.
    Any way I'm really passionate and proud about our very own aviation scene here in NZ and having some much needed colour that we haven't had for, wow ! Almost 15 years when origin pacific and Qantas NZ last flew regional NZ. Hope sounds air grows much like Air Chathams and possibly is able to add to some of these cities Jetstar and Air NZ flies to

    1. Fyfe introduced the standby system into the minds of the provincial masses some years ago with great intention. The travelling public took that inch and ran a mile with it.

      It was intended as said above to sell the last seats as it was seen as better to be filled than fly empty. True - right?

      Well it began to change the way people travelled, large ques of people lining up for standby, not just people that were unable to travel otherwise... Business people were booking flexible tickets then trying their luck on standby, if they were going to get on no trouble they'd push back their flexible tickets again and again ruining it for everyone else.

      The last minute additions of passengers meant chaos for operational staff. Weights, bags, passengers changes of trim. Getting flights away on time when last minute people are running to the plane, new load sheets being sent through. When people were denied there would be arguments and frustration as the next flights could be hours away waiting in the terminal.
      Weather disrupt days all flights become full and then there's the dozens of standby hopefuls clogging up ques.

      These days the gotta go fare is the new solution for last minute travel that is conservative in price to ward off the system abusers yet better than the rates online. They are only for sale in the last hour before departure. Once confirmed they are firm tickets, not standby. Use of the Koru lounge, if you are a member is permitted.

    2. Sounds Air can not offer 'advance purchase' discounted fares due to the aircraft type being used, being 10 or less seats.

      They do offer a a 10 Trip 'voucher' fares being a 'frequent flyer' for regular commuters. They also a 'book online' fare and a standard fare.

  4. "Ha then again there is a reason why I failed maths and is not a business consultant or a airline operator"

    How did you go with english comprehension?