14 July 2012

Eagle Gives Thumbs Up for Hokitika

Air New Zealand has reached agreement with Hokitika Airport Ltd on landing charges for the next three years, and says extra flights could be added if demand keeps growing.  Eagle Air general manager Carrie Hurihanganui said that in the past decade the number of passengers it carried on the Christchurch-Hokitika route had more than doubled to about 40,000 a year. “One interesting trend we’ve seen is that demand tends to be stronger over the winter months, when driving across the alps becomes more difficult.” Air New Zealand has added significant capacity into Hokitika over the past two years, adding a 50-seat Q300 aircraft to the route in February 2011 to complement the Beech 1900D’s services. Ms Hurihanganui said the airline was pleased with the growth on the route and saw the potential to further ‘grow’ capacity to match the anticipated increases in demand, “either through extra Beech frequency or a greater number of services operated by the Q300 aircraft”. Hokitika Airport manager Liz Howat said the lease contract came up for review every three years. “We agreed to a realistic price increase appropriate to the period of time.” Demand was increasing for the service across the Southern Alps to Canterbury, especially in winter. “Currently we have 26 return flights a week,” she said. Eagle Air currently operates 23 return trips a week between Christchurch and Hokitika with its 1900D, complemented by Air Nelson’s three Q300 services, which operate on Monday and Wednesday mornings, and Friday evenings. Ms Hurihanganui said Hokitika Airport Ltd had been “refreshingly pragmatic” in setting charges for aircraft on the route. “We are very pleased to have, effective from 1 July 2012, an agreement with Hokitika Airport for the next three years. This gives us surety and confidence going into our route planning and scheduling, and we look forward to continuing to work with the airport and community to grow both our services and tourism into this region.” Hokitika Airport Ltd chairman Bruce Smith said: “Hokitika Airport Ltd has an excellent relationship with Eagle Air and Air New Zealand, who have over a long period provided Westland and the West Coast with superior air services.”


  1. nice information about Eagle Gives Thumbs Up for Hokitika thanks for haring.It's awesome
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  2. I read somewhere recently that the airport company wants to extend the runway for international flights and to bring tourists in direct from Australia, then they drive thru the Haast and catch a flight home from Queenstown or vice versa. How on earth can the airport company board seriously think this proposal could be a goer? I sure hope the shareholders dig their heels in! Next will be jet services to Auckland!!