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Air Chatham Media Release 30th May 2016
Whanganui Air Service Announcement
Air Chathams is thrilled to announce that they will be commencing scheduled flight operations between Auckland & Whanganui. Flights will commence immediately after the withdrawal of Air New Zealand’s scheduled services towards the end of July this year.
Air Chathams will operate the same weekday schedule that Air NZ operates currently, with some minor changes to the current weekend schedule to better suit the Whanganui-Auckland leisure market. More details on schedule to be flown will be made available soon.
CEO for Air Chathams Mr Craig Emeny ‘is encouraged by the resolve shown by Whanganui elected representatives to get in behind Air Chathams following Air NZ’s decision to discontinue their Whanganui services. Craig is very excited at the prospect of getting to know more about the region and its people in the coming months and continuing the air service the community needs’
Air Chathams has operated scheduled airline services for over 30 years, with a range of aircraft and operating to a range of destinations within New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific.
The airline was built around the Chatham Island community, and has helped develop the live crayfish export market from nothing in the 1980’s to almost 400 tonnes annually in present times. As well as significantly improving schedule reliability & frequency from Chatham Islands to mainland New Zealand.
Craig has built the airline by ensuring that needs of the communities his airline serves are met first, and that the airline continues to work with local businesses and customers to ensure the best level of service.
In more recent times this has been evident in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, where Air Chathams took over services between Auckland & Whakatane after Air NZ’s withdrawal. Within a year Air Chathams proved its ability to provide the service and pulled back a large percentage of market share that was lost to Tauranga & Rotorua airports . Air Chathams has worked closely with local government and tourism bodies to develop niche markets that continue to stimulate the regions visitor growth.
Projects such as the themed Douglas DC-3 flights, and the ‘Flying Billboard’ promoting Whakatane as a tourism destination are just a few of the ways that Air Chathams have integrated themselves into the local community.
Craig Emeny has stated,“We understand the commercial reasons that have prompted Air New Zealand to make this decision, but I want to assure the Whanganui community that Air Chathams will continue to work with the national carrier, and will ensure that Whanganui receives a safe, reliable air service enabling the region to continue to grow into the future”
Air Chathams is proud to be the naming rights sponsor for the inaugural Sunshine and a Plate festival to be held between the 20th-28th February 2016.
The festival will showcase the amazing culinary talent and produce in the local area, as well as providing some real star power in the form of Masterchefs Ray McVinnie, and Destitute Gourmet legend Sophie Gray. White Island Tours will be hosting Cocktails Afloat with celebrity guest Frankie Walker, as well as other great experiences such as Champagne Sunrise DC-3 flights and a gourmet market day at the Whakatane Heads.
The week long festival will help raise much needed funds for the amazing people at Eastern Bay of Plenty Hospice, and ensure they have the resources required to continue providing top notch palliative care to those in need.
Any regional or 3rd level airline that wants to survive in New Zealand really needs a niche market. One of regional airline success story is Air Chathams which has grown from a fleet of one Cessna 337 in 1985 to a fleet of three Convairs, a Metroliner and a Cessna 206 today.Read article