19 August 2014

Support for Vincent Aviation's Masterton service

The imminent return of a passenger air service linking Masterton and Auckland has been welcomed by the New Zealand Airports Association. Chief executive Kevin Ward said the Vincent Aviation service, which replaces the cancelled Air New Zealand flights, is "an excellent initiative and a boost to Wairarapa's economy. Regular air services are vital for business, for access to medical services, and to maintain social linkages," Mr Ward said. A study last year, commissioned by the association, showed the airport in Masterton generated $6.5 million in added value to Wairarapa's economy. This rose to $35 million "when wider economic linkages are taken into account", he said. "Most of the benefits come from having regular airline links, so the new service will ensure a key foundation stone for the regional economy is restored." Mr Ward said other areas of the country will follow the re-introduction of the service with interest. "The withdrawal of Eagle Airways from Masterton is not an isolated case. "The Air New Zealand Group has some other domestic destinations under review, and those towns and regions will look closely at what has been achieved by Masterton District Council and Wairarapa supporters," he said. NZ Airports Association is the industry association for airports and related businesses. It is a not-for-profit organisation whose members run 33 airports spanning the country and enable the essential air transport links among each region of New Zealand and between New Zealand and the world. Masterton District Council last week opted to support a Vincent Aviation proposal to fly a Saab aircraft on the Masterton to Auckland route each day from Monday to Friday. Two proposals had been put to the council, the other being from Air Chathams, which had planned to use a Metroliner.

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