Whanganui Midweek

Air Chathams fleet passenger service starts up again


On Wednesday, December 15, the Air Chathams fleet will be providing passenger service once again.

Due to the recent Covid-19 lockdown in August of this year, Air Chathams passenger flights have been grounded and unable to provide an integral transport link to several communitie­s.

Fortunatel­y, Air Chathams have been able to continue to operate services to and from the Chatham Islands via Wellington and Christchur­ch, along with moving essential freight around the country.

However, without passenger service to the regions served by Air Chathams, local business and tourism has been affected as are the families not able to easily connect in person with loved ones.

“Our team is excited to kickstart passenger flights on December 15,” says Air Chathams COO Duane Emeny, “We are hopeful our key regional communitie­s and supporters will rally in behind our family business service to assist us in the recovery of these key air travel links.”

Essential airline passenger service provided by Air Chathams, connecting Whanganui, the Ka¯piti Coast, and the Eastern Bay of Plenty, has been on an enforced pause for over 110 days due to the Covid-19 Delta outbreak in Auckland.

Whakata¯ne Mayor Judy Turner recognises the significan­ce of Air Chathams reinstatin­g flights.

“Flights available to the district mean we’ll be welcoming more visitors this holiday season. This includes people looking for a weekend escape to recharge as well as those visiting friends and family after a long

lockdown in Auckland. It’s also important for the business sector to have these links re-establishe­d. The air service plays a key role in the district’s economy and is a vital part the national air travel network.”

The return of Air Chathams passenger services will not only provide

a boost to the local economy but also reconnect families and friends in various regions.

“Friends, family, businesses and visitors have enjoyed the convenienc­e and affordabil­ity of the two-way service for the last 3 years that would otherwise add cost and complicati­on to their journeys,” says Mark Ward, Ka¯ piti Coast District Council economic developmen­t manager.

“Our research has shown how much consumers value ease of access to all that both Ka¯piti Coast and Auckland have to offer, and we are delighted the service is back just in time for the summer rush.”

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