13 August 2021

Invercargill Service Upped


Extra passenger flights to and from Auckland and Wellington will be available to Southlanders from August 31. The Auckland-Invercargill jet service is expanding to five days a week. Invercargill Airport general manager Nigel Finnerty said Tuesday would be added to the other days that the service operated – Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday. An extra flight to Wellington will be introduced on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Customer demand led to the increases, Finnerty said. “There are lots of days when there’s no spare seats [on the Auckland jet] and that's for both ways. If this strength [of passenger numbers] continues we’d like to see the jet flying every day.” The amount of freight heading to Auckland was increasing, especially in “high value non-perishable [food],” Finnerty said. The number of people travelling through Invercargill Airport had returned to the figures that were recorded before the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, Finnerty added. “It has been for quite a while. Looking at regional airports across New Zealand, we’ve had the strongest comeback [from the lockdown]. The speed and strength of our comeback was very impressive.” In July Invercargill Airport had its highest number of people through the terminal for that month ever. It recorded 31,300, compared with 20,867 (2020) and 27,000 (2019). Its best month was in April when 33,000 passed through the terminal, compared to 29,000 in April, 2019. Finnerty was heartened to see a period last summer and spring when bus loads of people were being dropped off and picked up at the airport. It was more regular than we’d seen before. “That’s exciting for us when a bus pulls up with 40 on board ... that’s almost in some instances half an aircraft of people flying out.” Ravensdown engineering manager Mark Campbell, of Winton, arrived back in Invercargill aboard the Auckland jet on Friday. “I travel on it a bit ... it’s a great service for Southland,” he said. Auckland lawyer Maxine Vercoe was also on the jet on the first leg of her journey to Gore to visit family. The two-hour jet service made travelling between Auckland and Invercargill easier and faster, she said. Before the service started in August, 2019 Vercoe remembered travellers having to change planes in Wellington or Christchurch as part of their travel to and from Auckland and Invercargill. Meanwhile, a large fire truck, to be built in Austria, will arrive for service at Invercargill airport in August, 2022.

Source : https://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/destinations/nz/126063387/aucklandinvercargill-jet-service-extending-to-five-days-a-week

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