25 September 2015

Solid Start to Taupo Air Service

Passenger numbers flying between Wellington and Taupo airports are lower than previous years but Taupo Mayor David Trewavas is pleased rate-payers have not had to pick up the tab. When Sounds Air provided three daily flights along the route in June the council decided to underwrite the first three seats of each flight. "What that meant was if only two people got on the plane we would pay for one extra seat," Mayor Trewavas said. To date they have not had to  underwrite a single seat which Mayor Trewavas says is a sign the service is proving successful. "It's vital to keep links with Wellington and the service has proved popular with corporate clients," he said. "We're getting into the busier periods." In the first month of flying Sounds Air reported 511 passengers, in July that number rose to 689 but levelled off slightly in August at 631. The figures mean the service is running at close to 75 per cent capacity on average for the quarter during one of the less busy times of year. Taupo Airport Authority General Manager Mike Groome said the service is continuing to pick up but passenger numbers are unlikely to surpass previous year's numbers. "The service is going very well but we're comparing a 19 seat aircraft [which Air New Zealand used to run] against a 9-seater," he said. "Even if Sounds Air were running at full capacity they won't be at the same level." 

Source : Taupo Times, 25 September 2015

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