04 August 2018

Some thoughts on Originair's new Routes

I wish Originair good luck on its new services to Napier and I suspect it will need it. The two new routes being offered were once offered by Air Central (see : http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2013/11/air-central-north-island-commuter.html) which used Cessna 402s and Mitsubishi Mu2s on these routes. Originair's new routes, along with Air New Zealand's Hamilton-Palmerston North service will be the only inter regional flights being offered in the central North Island. 

Air Central's New Plymouth-Napier route was offered only for a short time and didn't seem to garner much support.

The Palmerston North-Napier Air Central run was part of the Gisborne-Napier-Palmerston North-New Plymouth route with a morning southbound service between Napier and Palmerston North and afternoon return enabling business traffic. 

Originair's timetable between New Plymouth and Napier is seeking weekend traffic and so that might pick up some traffic. I suspect the Napier-Palmerston North route is unlikely to pick up much traffic on Mondays given no same day return business traffic is possible. Wednesday's timetable maybe better suited for same day return traffic from Palmerston North. Both routes are add ons to flights from Nelson but flying sectors not generating much traffic is not a good way for services to last.

The Jetstream is an 18 seater so it will take some filling. Personally I would have thought Nelson-Napier direct would have been more viable. Time will tell over the next few months. 

If I was Originair I think I would be going back to what Air New Zealand operated with Beech 1900s, early morning (i.e. 7.00am) departure and return on the Nelson-Palmerston North route and the same late afternoon. From all accounts that schedule was doing well. With that as the bread and butter route I'd fit in Napier and New Plymouth flights around these. But then again I'm just an arm chair commentator!

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