13 March 2018

This was a bit unfortunate...

I just found this press release last month... 
The comment by Air New Zealand's Regional Affairs Manager was a bit untimely given the announcement last week...

Open day aims to encourage business people to fly from Kāpiti

Press Release – Kapiti Coast Chamber Of Commerce
Kāpiti and Porirua local business professionals are being invited to get behind the daily flight service from Paraparaumu to Auckland and support the Open Day at Kapiti Coast Airport.
The Open Day will be held on 3 March, in partnership with Air New Zealand, the Kāpiti Coast District Council, and the Kāpiti and Porirua Chambers of Commerce. A chance for the community to get up and personal with this vital service, the event builds on the work already underway by both Chambers to drive passenger demand for the Kāpiti to Auckland link.
“We consider our daily connection to Auckland critical infrastructure. It plays an important role in our wider regional economic growth. We’re really pleased to hear anecdotally more people are choosing to fly from Kāpiti – but we can always do more to encourage local businesses to capitalise on the convenience of flying from Paraparaumu” says Heather Hutchings, Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce Chair.
The Kāpiti and Porirua Chambers began working together in 2017 to drive passenger demand, in response to a challenge issued by Air New Zealand for Kāpiti to create a compelling narrative they can promote on behalf of the region.
“We would like business professionals who regularly fly to Auckland to consider flying from Kāpiti instead of Wellington. We are pleased to support the Open Day – this is just one of the initiatives underway to drive better awareness of the Kāpiti to Auckland route and the convenience it offers,” says Heather Hutchings.
Former Porirua Mayor Nick Leggett has used the service with his regular travel to and from Auckland.
“Earlier this week, we had a full flight south to Kapiti, I was off the plane and into the car in under a minute and home to Paremata in twenty-five minutes. The alternative at Wellington would have taken a lot longer through airport construction and building peak hour traffic.”
Tracy Johnson, Porirua Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, says Kāpiti Coast Airport will become even more important to Porirua in the years to come.
“We have the third-highest household income in New Zealand, with a high volume of business travellers commuting each day to Wellington Airport. We will be even more closely connected once Transmission Gully is completed. It makes sense for us to encourage our members to consider travelling from Kāpiti, and taking advantage of everything the airport offers,” says Tracy Johnson.
Ian Collier, Air New Zealand Regional Affairs Manager, says he hopes the Open Day attracts both leisure and business travellers alike.
“We have been working closely with the Chambers and Council to grow awareness for the direct Kāpiti Coast – Auckland link and initiatives such as the upcoming Open Day are a great opportunity to highlight the service to the local community whether they may need to travel for business or leisure. We’re looking forward to attending the event and engaging with the community,” says Ian Collier.
The Open Day, which is being supported by Kapiti Coast Airport, begins at 12pm and will run for approximately two hours. There will be an opportunity to win two return Air New Zealand flights to Auckland, check out some of the tourism opportunities on offer in Kapiti, take a behind the scenes tour and go on board an Air New Zealand Q300 aircraft.
Press Release – Kapiti Coast District Council
Kāpiti Coast District Council’s Mayor K Gurunathan will join other regional leaders, the Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce, and Air New Zealand to host an open day at Kāpiti Coast Airport for the local community on Saturday 3 March. Following the arrival of Air New Zealand’s first scheduled flight of the day at 11.30am, the airport will be open to visitors from around the region.
The Mayor says the Council is pleased to support Air NZ’s initiatives and understands the importance of maintaining and growing the regional route, both for business and community in Kāpiti and neighbouring regions.
“The advantages and convenience of being able to travel directly from the Coast into Auckland, and home again without having to travel to Wellington city are obvious, and we want to remind not just locals of that, but alert out-of-region visitors to that convenience, as well,” he said.
For the first time, the mayors of Kapiti, Porirua, and Horowhenua will be coming together to promote a regional asset.
“I’m very pleased to be welcoming Mayors Mike Tana and Michael Feyen to Kāpiti, and I’ll be inviting them to check out the range of tourism options on show during the open day. We’ll consider how these are well placed to be promoted to visitors as part of a wider regional package of leisure activities and experiences north of Wellington.”
“The completion of Transmission Gully will make travel time between Porirua and Kāpiti shorter making Kāpiti Airport a viable alternative for Porirua residents, given Wellington’s traffic congestion and parking problems,” Mayor Tana said.
Mayor Feyen said the proposed expressway extension north through Horowhenua will do the same and draw the District’s business catchment south towards Kāpiti and Porirua.
“Kāpiti Airport will be an alternative to the one in Palmerston North,” he added.
The public will be invited to view the facilities, go on board an Air New Zealand Q300 aircraft, enjoy free refreshments, and learn more about what’s on offer, both leisure and business-wise in Kāpiti. There’ll also be flight prize draws for two return Air NZ Kāpiti to Auckland flights.
Air New Zealand Regional Affairs Manager Ian Collier says the airline is looking forward to co-hosting the open day.
“We’ve been working closely with local stakeholders to encourage use of our services and grow demand and this open day is just one output of this work. We’re looking forward to inviting Kāpiti Coast locals on board one of our Q300 aircraft as part of the event and sharing more details on the services available at Kāpiti Coast Airport,” says Mr Collier.
Mayor Gurunathan also thanked the Chamber for their sterling support and promised to continue to seek a stronger working relationship of all involved in highlighting the importance of the regular air connection north and south.
Members of the public are invited to attend the Open Day at Kāpiti Coast Airport, 60 Toru Road, Paraparaumu Beach on Saturday 3 March from 12.00pm to 2.15pm.


  1. Disgustingly handled. It’s gotta be said.

  2. That's pretty bloody poor form Air New Zealand. Really bad

  3. Quite simply unbelievable. I genuinely believe the airline, at the time of the open day, did not plan to withdraw from Paraparaumu completely. I understand some plans had been made to scale back/stop flying "for a short period" i.e. a couple of months. But then wham, total withdrawal. Beggers belief really. I sure hope that discussions had been had with a potential replacement and that it can start operations immediately. This entire withdrawal from regions is a throwback to the F27 Friendship retirement back in the late 1980's and handing routes to more regionally focused carriers. Hopefully with local focus the regional's can better serve the smaller towns by providing a refreshed timetable better suited to the customer than just when the plane is free to do a flight.

    1. The current regional situation sure isn’t ‘when the plane is free to do a flight’. That was more KRA.. when they happened to be passing through.

  4. How well publicised in advance was this event? In what media did it appear and to what extent? What sort of turn out did it generate? Did Air New Zealand decide to pull the plug simply based on the number of people turning up on Open Day? Was two hours long enough to get a true gauge on support for the service. Did Air New Zealand focus on "use it or lose it?"

    1. "Did Air New Zealand decide to pull the plug simply based on the number of people turning up on Open Day?"

      I very much doubt it.

  5. Right hand - meet left hand.....

    1. I think that's exactly it. It's unfortunate but apparently some different divisions across the airline have less than stellar lines of communication. A very public faux pas as opposed to anything malicious.

  6. I’m trying to get a seat on the morning flight to AKL but it’s fully booked. There’s only one seat on Friday mornings flight $288 seat only..