14 November 2014

Sounds Air Eyeing up New Routes

Sounds Air is looking at flying some routes Air New Zealand will ditch. The company has bought a fifth 12-seat Cessna Grand Caravan which leaves Oklahoma today for its 48-hour ferry flight to Blenheim. The additional plane comes as Air NZ conducts a regional shakeup including cutting its Nelson-Palmerston North service and stopping flying to Westport. Sounds Air managing director Andrew Crawford said it was talking with authorities in Westport about flying a Westport-Wellington route. He said there was also potential for Sounds Air to pick up the Nelson-Palmerston North service and to fly a Nelson-Paraparaumu service. Its additional plane is to fly a new service between Blenheim and Paraparaumu, and complement its existing fleet on flights from Wellington to Nelson, Picton, Blenheim and Whanganui. Crawford said the issue of flying to Westport was complex because of mountains, weather and distance. Flying from Nelson to Palmerston North was much more suitable for the company as it already flew Nelson-Wellington. It would look at flying Nelson-Paraparaumu in the short term. "If you get to Paraparaumu you are a long way up the coast so it is easier to get to places such as Taupo and it is a go-ahead area." Air2there also operates Paraparaumu flights to Nelson and Blenheim. Air New Zealand launched a service between Paraparaumu and Auckland in October 2011 and added a service between Paraparaumu and Christchurch in November last year.

1 comment:

  1. Palmerston North to Nelson would be the perfect route for Sounds Air, and help build their profile further north. The route really needs two return flights a day to be successful (unlike the 1 return flight a day Air NZ was proposing with it's Q300). Palmerston North airport would be very supportive as well as the airline manager really wants to build up regional links (including Palmy-Tauranga) and having another airline flying the route would work great given the route wouldn't support a Q300 initially either.