18 April 2015

Whakatane Plans Developing

The Eastern Bay’s new Whakatane-Auckland air services will be celebrated with an open day at Whakatane Airport on Sunday, April 26. Mayor Tony Bonne said the event would be a fun day out for all the family, with Air Chatham’s Convair 580 and Metroliner fleet and classic DC3 on display, plus a Vampire Jet, Yak aircraft, other classic planes, microlights and local aircraft. “We’ll also have classic cars and motorcycles, fire and rescue services and a range of other fun activities available,” he said. “The Air Chathams DC3 will be offering scenic flights and local companies Frontier Helicopters and Whakatane Aerohire will also be offering flights at an affordable cost. There’s no better way to get a taste of our new air service offerings and get to know some of the people behind the scenes, so come along and enjoy this unique aeronautic opportunity.” Entry to the open day will be via a gold coin donation, with the profits raised going to worthy activities co-ordinated by the Whakatane Sunrise Rotary Club. Food and refreshments would be available as a fundraiser for the Air Training Corps and Interact (Youth Rotary). Air Chathams Whakatane Air Services’ inaugural flight will land in Whakatane at 9.30am on Tuesday, April 28 – a special initiative by Air Chathams to ensure that connections are available after Air New Zealand’s final flight, which departs from
Whakatane at 6.50am that day. Thereafter, daily scheduled services to Auckland will operate at 7.15am, Monday to Friday, with weekday afternoon flights to Auckland departing at 4.30pm Monday to Friday. Weekend flights to Auckland will depart at 9.45am and 2.10pm on Saturdays and 11.45am on Sundays. Auckland-Whakatane services will operate at 8.45am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, with Saturday services at 10.30am and 3.30pm; and a Sunday service departing for Whakatane at 2pm. Fares from $89 (including a 23-kilogram bag) are available on Air Chatham’s Whakatane Air Services.

Source : http://www.whakatanebeacon.co.nz/2015/04/open-day-to-celebrate-new-air-services/

Air Chathams is making sure it’s Eastern Bay customers have one-on-one attention when the service launches later this month. The airline, due to take-off in Whakatane on April 28, has employed a person whose sole job will be to work with the Eastern Bay community. Airline owner Craig Emery confirmed the appointment of Grey Tinley while on a visit to Whakatane recently – one of a number of arrangements Air Chathams is making as it counts down to the launch of its Whakatane-Auckland service. Mr Emeny said Mr Tinley would be based in Auckland, the company’s operational engineering base, and had been employed to work directly with the Eastern Bay community. The company has also rented a flat for staff to use when they are overnighting in Whakatane, and has trained three flight attendants – two women and a man – to serve on the 50-seater Convair aircraft. An 18-seater Metroliner will also service Whakatane but it is the larger Convair that Mr Emeny is hoping to use to build visitor numbers to the region. “What we really want to do is to keep the Convair operating and expand the market.” He said the aircraft would be good for transporting sports teams and conference delegates and, for the first time, would allow large groups to fly into town for events. He is hoping to be able to support the tourism industry, businesses and education providers by transporting people who might just want to visit for a day. It would also be possible to arrange the schedule so the Convair would take large groups from Whakatane to other parts of New Zealand direct, Mr Emeny said. “What we are going to build is a much closer relationship with the community so we can work with the community to develop the service.” “If there are other destinations that make sense and would be good for Whakatane and the Chathams, we will be keeping our eyes open.” Mr Emeny also has ideas of organising special day trips down to Whakatane in the company’s DC3, where visitors spend the day enjoying what the district has to offer. “We want to do that in the summer and do that a lot so we build a special or unique market that you can’t get anywhere else.”

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