Ka¯ piti-Auckland direct flight resumes

Positive move but ‘a tough year’ ahead

David Haxton

2022-05-11T07:00:00.0000000Z

2022-05-11T07:00:00.0000000Z

NZME

https://communitynews.co.nz/article/282080575425793

NEWS

Air Chathams has resumed its direct Ka¯piti-toAuckland service. Since February the route, each way, had included a stop-off in Whanganui as a way to navigate its way through the Covid-19 Omicron outbreak. But now the direct route, which takes only slightly over an hour to get from Paraparaumu to Auckland and vice versa, is fully operational again. “Running the bus stops was necessary, but less than ideal, especially for Ka¯piti residents, so it’s good news that the direct flights are back,” Air Chathams chief operating officer Duane Emeny said. There had been an increased demand for flights in the past month as travel restrictions were reduced. Passenger numbers were “definitely tracking the right way” with the airline seeing “some real improvements” in daily sales. “And I think once people are aware that they don’t have to go via Whanganui, because I think that was putting people off, unfortunately, then we will get that core business group back. “The other important thing for us to work on going forward is actually opening up that Porirua market to the Ka¯piti Coast. “You’ve still got all those traffic woes going south through Wellington City whereas if you jump on the new motorway [Transmission Gully] you’re at Ka¯ piti Coast Airport in 10 minutes and significantly lower parking costs.” Emeny said there was a good vibe in aviation circles with air travel getting back on its feet. “I went to Melbourne last week and the flights were full. “Our concern was about how much hesitancy there would be for people to get back on aeroplanes. “It would appear there’s almost none, in the circles we’re in anyway. “People are just getting on with life again. “What will be really interesting now is how a lot of businesses have pivoted away from working from offices and everything with the likes of Zoom and Microsoft Teams, and whether that will start to break down and people will return to the offices, or whether larger corporate businesses will see cost savings in not having that lease space and having more people work from home. “There are certainly a lot more inperson meetings happening now even here in Auckland. “So it’s positive, but it will be a tough year with all the costs up, with fuel being the biggest one for us.” The best way to book an Air Chathams flight is via www. airchathams.co.nz

en-nz