25 August 2022

Connecting Nelson and Marlborough

Three charter operators and Sounds Air are connecting Nelson to Marlborough during the road outages...

From the Air Kaikoura Facebook page

Air Kaikoura is excited to be offering our air services from Blenheim to Nelson return from Friday the 26th of August. We will be operating these flights 7 days per week or as demand requires. Our schedule and prices will be as follows. Adults $175 PP Children $150 or return for $270 PA Children $250 PC

Morning: Departing Blenheim (Omaka) 7.30 am, arrive Nelson 8am. Depart Nelson at 8.30am, arrive Omaka 9am.
Afternoon: Depart Blenheim (Omaka) 4.00pm, arrive Nelson at 4.30pm. Depart Nelson at 5.00pm, arrive Blenheim (Omaka) at 5.30pm.
Conditions, includes minimum of 4 passengers for the flight to take place. Carry on luggage only. We are also available for other charter inquiries and can carry freight on demand. Air Kaikoura/The Kaikoura Aero Club is a non profit organization, your funds help aviation in Kaikoura and beyond. Thank you for choosing to fly with us. Please call us on 0800247524 for further conditions and information, or email as at info@airkaikoura.co.nz

A whale watching company has pivoted to help people stranded while the two highways connecting the top of the south are out of action due to flood damage. Wings Over Whales is a Kaikōura-based company that normally takes passengers for scenic trips. But when the team realised the scale of flood damage during charters for Civil Defence at the weekend, they thought some direct flights between Nelson and Blenheim would help those stranded by the highway closures. The main route between the two centres, SH6, was severely damaged by slips and flooding when an atmospheric river of rain brought a four-day deluge to Te Tauihu. The alternative route SH63 was also damaged and Waka Kotahi said neither highway would reopen before next week. Wings Over Whales marketing and partnerships manager Krissy Griggs said they posted the idea on social media on Tuesday to gauge interest and were overwhelmed by the response. “The phones haven’t stopped, we’ve had lots of enquiries, lots of demand. There’s lots of uncertainty about when the roads will be opened. So it’s been great to be able to help.” Their GA8 Airvan was making return trips every day this week from Omaka Aero Club to Helicopters Nelson, and Griggs said that would likely continue until one of the highways reopened, and if the demand was there. They had tried to keep the ticket price as reasonable as possible as a service to flood-affected passengers, at $200 one-way or $300 return. The enquiries included young families that had become stranded in the wrong region over the weekend, businesses moving staff for work, people wanting to bring their older parents over, or even looking to transport cats and dogs, Griggs said. “This is not our first rodeo – about five years ago now we had the Kaikōura earthquake and we just went straight into recovery mode. So for us, seeing this situation [with highway closures] again, we saw that we could help.” As the company already had established connections with airfields around the top of the south it only took “a couple of phone calls” to set up this week’s flights, she said. Pilot Emily Wallace said the airfield at Omaka had been very busy this week with helicopters transporting officials around the region as well as chartered planes transporting passengers to Nelson. Among her passengers on Wednesday was a Nelson-based farmer heading home after visiting his farm in Rai Valley, managed by his children but which suffered extensive damage in the flooding. Sounds Air confirmed it would also put on direct flights on Thursday and Saturday evening. Sounds Air chief executive Andrew Crawford said he had considered putting on more direct flights between Nelson and Blenheim due to the highway closures, but he was waiting to see how Monday’s announcement went, as he thought it was possible State Highway 63 would reopen soon. Normally the company did not do direct flights “because most people just drive”, Crawford said. Passengers could also fly Blenheim to Nelson via Wellington.

Source : https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/129668701/whale-watching-company-puts-on-blenheim-to-nelson-flights

From the Pelorus Air Facebook page

Nelson road closures update:

Flights running daily, $200 per person each way.  Spaces still available as below:

🛩0830 Nelson↪️Picton
🛩1500 Picton↪️Picton
🛩1600 Nelson↪️Picton 

🛩0800 Picton↪️Nelson
🛩0945 Picton↪️Nelson
🛩1045 Nelson↪️Picton
🛩1200 Picton↪️Nelson
🛩1415 Picton↪️Nelson
🛩1500 Nelson↪️Picton

More flights on Saturday and Sunday available will post update tomorrow.

And from the Sounds Air Facebook page...


We have added another BHE-NSN flight at 06:35 on Saturday 27th August. Booking is open for this flight on our website. 

We still have seats available on our NSN-BHE at 1915! 

Great News! 

We have 2 one off Direct Blenheim - Nelson & Nelson - Blenheim flights scheduled ready to go! You can book these flights on our website www.soundsair.com 

Flight times as follows ✈️ 

 • BHE - NSN Thursday 25th August at 1800
 • NSN - BHE Saturday 27th August at  1915

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