16 August 2018

Kapiti Air Service Set for Take Off

Passengers on Air Chathams' Kāpiti to Auckland service, which starts on Monday, can expect a consistant service that will get them to their destination on time. The airline's on-time performance was greater than 90 per cent in the last 12 months, general manager Duane Emeny said at a Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Southward Car Museum on Thursday. "We're very proud of that. "We are very reliable and the reason for that is that we have a larger fleet of aeroplanes for the schedules that we're operating so in the event of major maintenance or unscheduled maintenance we are able to put other aircraft onto those routes and make sure we get people to where they want to be." While the airline would be concentrating "on doing a good job and being reliable", he encouraged people to be their ambassadors. "We want you to be our sales agents and get people to fly out of Kāpiti and support local." Air Chathams founder Craig Emeny, who started the company in the mid 1980s flying live crayfish to the mainland in a six-seater Cessna, said the airline had to provide a good air service at Kāpiti that was reliable and good value. "That is our commitment." Kāpiti Coast District Council chief executive Wayne Maxwell said Air Chathams was "a perfect fit for us here in Kāpiti. I strongly believe we're going to be way better off with this team. They're a family organisation and they've got our values which I think is really important to us. Moreover, there was significant passenger potential for the service." He said 50,000 people flew to and from Auckland out of Kāpiti in the last 12 months, but 45,000 flew out of Wellington and 2500 flew out of Palmerston North. "Our potential market is 97,500 people from Kāpiti alone. In Porirua, 87,000 people flew to Auckland and only thought to look south [out of Wellington]. In 2020 when we've got two new expressways opening it is going to be so much easier for them to think north. So the potential market for them [Air Chathams] is pretty darn big. Let's get excited. We won't get all of these people but my goodness we can attract a lot of them and then that plane is going to be too full and then we're going to be having a different conversation." He noted Air New Zealand's Kāpiti to Auckland service, which stopped on April 3, "was a very financially viable air service". "So for anyone out there who tells you that Air New Zealand pulled out because they were losing money, that bollocks, that's a technical term, we all know they pulled out because of their scheduling and their issues about what they wanted to do with their fleet and positioning." Otaki MP Nathan Guy was keen to see an Air Chathams link on the Air New Zealand website as well as joint bag tagging, airpoints and lounge sharing with the national carrier. "I know there are discussions happening. I think Air New Zealand has to wake up to the fact that Air Chathams is now providing that strategic support in regions up and down New Zealand."


  1. Looking forward to Sunday afternoon at PPQ, Monday and beyond.

  2. Looking forward to Sunday afternoon at PPQ, Monday and beyond.