Kapiti Coast Airport to see return of service to Auckland

Kapiti Coast Airport, a privately-owned regional airport catering primarily for general aviation, in New Zealand is to see the return of the regional flight service between Kapiti and Auckland thanks to Air Chathams.

From 20 August, Air Chathams will operate 36 flights a week between Auckland and Kapiti, using the airline’s fleet of Saab 340 aircraft.

Mayor K Gurunathan said: “I am absolutely delighted Air Chathams has decided to support our District’s economy and our community by offering this vital air service between Kapiti and Auckland.”

The mayor thanked those involved in attracting the airline, saying: “From the minute it was announced Kapiti flights were being withdrawn I told Kapiti to ‘watch this space’. Now all the hard work with the business, community and government to rally support to attract and secure air services for our District has paid off.”

The route was previously served by Air New Zealand since 2011, and who announced the decision in March 2018 to withdraw services between Kapiti Coast and Auckland, with the final service on 3 April 2018. Negotiations with Air Chathams began in June.

“As an airline that is committed to the regions in New Zealand, we are absolutely delighted to be launching a new service in Kapiti,” said Craig Emeny, the owner of Air Chathams. “We think the route has a huge amount of potential, and we are really looking forward to getting to know the local community and delivering a quality flight service that residents can be proud of.”

A number of organisations will support the successful start-up of the Air Chathams service, including Air New Zealand, Kapiti Coast District Council and Kapiti Coast Airport.

Kapiti Coast Airport’s support included a free premises lease for the first year, followed by a 33% discount on the lease previously paid by Air New Zealand for another two years, or during the period Air Chathams is building up its Kapiti-Auckland service.

“Kapiti Coast Airport is committed to supporting airline services, and we are really pleased that the region has managed to attract a quality service like Air Chathams,” said Evan Davies, managing director of Todd Property, the company that owns the airport. “We look forward to working with Air Chathams, as we continue to provide a regional airport facility that is dedicated to safety, security and customer service.”

Mayor Gurunathan went on to say: “We have a buoyant district economy and the ability for people to fly the Kapiti to Auckland route really strengthens business, family and visitor connections and will bolster our visitor economy.

“We know from our conversations with passengers on the previous service that the convenience of this direct route from Kapiti is a big part of people’s decision-making when choosing to fly from our local airport.”

Written by: Kimberley Young

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