14 December 2021

Resumption of Whanganui Flights

Air Chathams is opening its Whanganui to Auckland passenger service again after being shut for more than 100 days. Flights begin again on Wednesday - the same day the Auckland border opens to allow people in and out if they are vaccinated or have had a negative test within 72 hours of crossing the boundary. The first local flight will leave at 10.30am on Wednesday and the first arrival from Auckland will be at about 4pm the same day. On weekdays, there will be three services each way between Whanganui and Auckland while on the weekends there will be one service both ways for Saturdays and Sundays. "Our team is excited to kickstart passenger flights on December 15," Air Chathams chief operating officer Duane Emeny said. "We are hopeful that our key regional communities and supporters will rally behind our family business service to assist us in the recovery of these key air travel links." Air Chathams said it was fortunate the airline was also able to continue operating services to and from the Chatham Islands via Wellington and Christchurch, along with moving essential freight around the country. However, without passenger services to regions like Whanganui, local business and tourism had suffered, along with families not able to see loved ones, the company said. Air Chathams' passenger services between Auckland and regional centres Whanganui, the Kāpiti Coast and the Eastern Bay of Plenty had been on an enforced pause for over 110 days due to the Delta outbreak in Auckland. In October, Emeny said Air Chathams had been recovering strongly only a couple of months earlier thanks to the then quarantine-free bubble with Australia having a positive impact on all of the airline's North Island locations. Travellers were confidently booking flights to the Pacific Islands and Australia and Air Chathams was able to restart its Norfolk Islands service. The company was even on track to increase all of its frequencies to pre-Covid levels of 2019, but the August lockdowns put a quick end to that, Emeny said.

Source : https://www.nzherald.co.nz/whanganui-chronicle/news/air-chathams-back-flying-between-whanganui-and-auckland/65X3DYFCIB6CYFUAC4X6JSTKXM/

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