23 January 2015

Whakatane's New Air Service???

A small Chatham Islands based airline will now offer daily flights between Auckland and Whakatane. Air Chathams will start twice daily flights at the end of April when Air New Zealand stops servicing that route, along with some other regional services. CEO Craig Emeny says they'll use either a 50 or 18 seater plan - but want to use the bigger plane as much as possible. "It'll depart in the early morning and arrive about 8.00 in Auckland, which will allow businesspeople to carry out their business." CEO Craig Emeny says flights have been limited to 19 seats in the past. "It will allow that part of the Bay of Plenty to have large groups come through, and they certainly want tourism to develop down there." Marlborough-based airline Sounds Air has announced it'll take over the Westport route.

But the Whakatane Beacon says...

No airline decision – yet

Mayor Tony Bonne says his council has yet to decide whether Air Chathams will take over the route to Auckland being abandoned by Air New Zealand in April. Mr Bonne’s comment follows announcements yesterday in various media, including Newstalk ZB, that the company would take over the route. Air Chathams chief executive Craig Emeny has been reported confirming that twice daily flights will start when Air New Zealand stops servicing the route to Auckland. Mr Emeny is reported saying the airline will use either a 50- or 18-seater plane – but prefers to use the bigger planes. Mr Bonne said the council was holding an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday to consider a report about the future of passenger airline services from Whakatane.

Actually Mr Mayor, the Council doesn't have the right to decide which airline serves the town... You can choose to let out terminal space or not but you can't stop an airline operating a service 

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