23 August 2022

Sounds Air Spring Deal


I wish I lived in central New Zealand for this deal...

Regional airline Sounds Air is offering a $799, all-you-can-fly pass for three months to get people flying at the start of spring. People are over the bad winter weather and more than two years of Covid, and Sounds Air wants them to get travelling. The Blenheim-based airline is offering 1000 of the passes from Tuesday morning, for travel between September 1 and November 30. Andrew Crawford​, Sounds Air managing director, said about 17,000 seats would be available during the three months. Like other airlines, Sounds Air was flying with empty seats and wanted to fill them. “I'm hoping for a booming summer for this country. I think we really need it,” he said. The idea of a season pass was sparked by a recent trip to the United States. “One thing we really noticed was getting away from Zoom, or Teams or whatever else people are using for meetings, and how good it was to get face to face,” Crawford said. The airline flies to Blenheim, Picton, Nelson, Westport, Christchurch and Wanaka in the South Island, and Wellington, Paraparaumu and Taupō in the North Island. Flights needed to be booked seven days in advance, and the pass enabled a maximum of two active seats at a time, in other words a return flight for one person. No-shows would incur a charge, and the pass could not be transferred to another person. “We think it's a pretty good deal, hopefully for both parties,” he said. “It gets people moving, fills up those seats that maybe weren't going to be filled anyway, so it gives us some money. The times when it isn't at peak, you're almost guaranteed to get a seat.” Along with other airlines, Sounds Air relied on government funding during lockdown when air travel was severely restricted. There were concerns the airline would not get a cut of the aviation package, and a petition to 'Save Sounds Air' collected more than 43,000 signatures. But the worst period was early this year after Omicron hit, when aircraft were flying on a more normal schedule, but sickness was still spreading. “It was very, very difficult. When you were locked down, you knew what you were doing. There was no one going anywhere, and you didn't have any cost going out apart from wages. But Omicron was much different to that.” The past two months had seen business starting to get back to pre-Covid levels, although the airline was battling inflation and higher bills, particularly fuel. “Any airline could be better, but we seem to have strong demand. But there are also strong costs out there,” he said. “We've had sickness, but it's sort of rolling sickness. We have 100 staff, so if 10% of them are off it does have a big effect on our business. But it hasn't been too bad so far.” Some flights had been cancelled as a result, although it was not as badly hit as Air New Zealand which has had to reduce its flight schedule for the next six months.

1 comment:

  1. Just spent $530 on a Return trip to WSZ. So $799 is incredible! Wish I lived down that way as well. Theoretically you could go flying every weekend if you wanted too! :D