01 May 2015

Three Q300 flights each day for Wanganui

Bigger aircraft signal a change that will become permanent for travellers using Wanganui's airport. Air New Zealand will start flying its 50-seater Bombardier Q300 aircraft on a regular service through the city from the end of this month. An Air New Zealand spokesperson said the first scheduled flight takes place next Wednesday, leaving Auckland at 7.55am and touching down in Wanganui an hour later. From that date the airline will have a mix of the Q300s and the 19-seat Beech 1900D on the Wanganui-Auckland route. And from February next year travellers will be flying in and out of the city solely on the 50-seater planes. The bigger planes means a 75 per cent increase in seats compared with the current schedule. In November the Chronicle got confirmation from the airline that its 50-seater aircraft would be gradually introduced but that the bigger planes will mean a cut in the number of flights out of Wanganui. The Beech planes that look after much of its regional network are being phased out on Air NZ's regional routes. Air New Zealand currently operates four return trips every weekday between Wanganui and Auckland, with three return trips on a Saturday and four on a Sunday. But from February 2016, there will be three return services between the two ports on weekdays, two on Saturdays and two on Sundays because these services will be exclusively operated by larger 50-seat aircraft. Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand's chief executive, said the changes should bring cheaper air fares. "By moving from a 19-seat aircraft to a 50-seat one, we expect to be able to reduce the average airfare by 15 per cent because of the better economies of scale achieved from distributing fixed operating cost across 50 passengers, rather than just 19," Mr Luxon said. Last week the airline announced it would be adding more than 650,000 domestic seats in the 2016 financial year. More flights and changing from Boeing 737s to more modern larger A320 aircraft, are behind the growth. Most of the additional seats will be deployed on three key domestic routes - Auckland to Christchurch, Queenstown and Wellington. There will also be more capacity between Christchurch and Queenstown. Cam Wallace, Air NZ's chief sales and commercial officer, said the number of seats available into and out of some regions is now set to increase by around 30 per cent compared with this financial year. He said the Wanganui to Auckland capacity will increase by 35 per cent in the 2016 financial year.


  1. Gee, three Q300 flights to Wanganui, Be interesting to see how long they will go for

  2. Maybe longer than Soundsair WAG WLG? Their booking site shows flights are not available from May 15th.

  3. Its all smoke and mirrors as far as Air New Zeal is concerned! Its easy to say we are increasing the number of seats out of Waikikamukau by 50%, but by the way, decreased flights are the price you have to pay. Bigger aircraft, fewer flights, suck it up people or we'll leave your town too. It would not surprise me to see other provincial centres lose Air New Zeal business within the next few years.