Topic: Business

Air New Zealand cuts some regional flight services

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Air New Zealand has told its most valued customers who use their Whakatāne flight service that they are cutting this route because of costs. 

This follows their announcement yesterday that they will be cutting regional services come April next year. 

It was quiet at the Whakatāne Airport today following the announcement yesterday that Air New Zealand will be cutting its service by April next year.

Valued customers like Harata Day, who travels weekly on the service to Auckland, found out via email.

“I was really shocked from the email I received from Air New Zealand yesterday.  They pointed out that they valued their customers but they will no longer run their service from Whakatāne,” says Ms Day.

Other areas affected by this move are Taupō, Westport, Palmerston North to Nelson and Whangarei, but for the Far North there may be light at the end of the tunnel.

Kelvin Davis says, “We should not be anger at New Zealand.  The happy thing out of this is that another company Sun has said that they will pick up this service from Kaitaia.”

Over 50,000 people live in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.  Whakatāne Mayor, Tony Bonne, says this is blow to the region. 

“So if someone wants to fly from Te Kaha they are going to take a two and half hour drive just to get to the airport,” says Bonne.

Air New Zealand says the move is based on costs, but for the Whakatāne Airport, it's not over yet.