15 January 2019

Fly My Sky toughing it out

A small airline that got off to a slow start will continue to run daily services to and from Whangārei after picking up business lately. Fly My Sky first flew from Auckland to Whangārei on the morning of October 29 with only its chief executive Keith McKenzie and Whangārei MP Dr Shane Reti on board. The return flight on its 10-seater Britten Norman Islander twin-engine plane had just one passenger. Since then, flights have been near capacity on the route on which Fly My Sky competes with national carrier Air New Zealand, which has welcomed the new airline's entry into the Northland market. Fly My Sky chief executive Keith McKenzie earlier blamed at a lack of booking on a lack of advertising but expected business to pick up heading into the busy festive season. Yesterday, he was more optimistic about the airline's future on the Auckland to Whangārei route. "Passenger numbers are definitely building more towards what we're after. They are still slightly slow but we're getting quite a few return and repeat customers," McKenzie said. "Obviously the timing of our flights suit our customers. We're still getting quite a few inquiries going forward and it's looking encouraging with several flights almost full." The airline flies into Whangārei twice daily from Monday to Friday, with a one-way fare of $99 including 23kg luggage. Flights leave Auckland at 6.55am and 1.20pm, returning at 8.25am and 2.45pm. McKenzie said doctors who flew with Fly My Sky from Auckland to Whangārei for work have shown an interest in flying with the company again. He said there were no plans to increase flights on the route at this stage. "The current flights need to be functioning well before we look at increasing them because it costs tens of thousands of dollars to run scheduled services each month," he said. The Auckland-based airline runs Britten Normal Islander planes from Auckland to Great Barrier Island and Whangārei.Another airline, Sunair, operates between Whangārei, Great Barrier Island, Hamilton and Tauranga, based on demand and plan to open a flight training school in Whangārei this year.

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