03 April 2020

Island Flyers

$1.7 million has been fast-tracked from the Government's $600 million aviation support package to be distributed to airlines which service New Zealand's offshore island communities. This includes the Chatham Islands, Great Barrier Island and Mōtītī Island, off Tauranga. "Island residents are relying on air connectivity, particularly during the Alert Level 4 period, and we've moved quickly to ensure these services are able to continue," Transport Minister Phil Twyford told 1 NEWS in a statement today. In the last few weeks, the planes have been focused on transporting freight rather than people, carting essential supplies such as food, medicines and equipment to keep essential services running on the islands. Air Chathams is welcoming the funding, saying it will enable them to run around three services a week for two to three months to the island. However, they say any support from the Government will need to be ongoing throughout this time if they're to keep the vital freight service operating.

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