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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”