Air NZ moves early Kerikeri flight to later take-off

By Lindy Laird

4 comments

The rescheduling of the first morning flight out of Kerikeri to Auckland could upset some travellers wanting to be in the city early in the day.

From October 1, Air New Zealand will can its 6.55am flight out of Kerikeri and replace it with a 9.15am one.

The first flight into Kerikeri will leave Auckland at 7.55am and leave Kerikeri at 9.15am on weekdays. The last flight in will leave Auckland at 6.55pm with the return to Auckland leaving at 8.10pm.

An Air NZ spokeswoman said the airline has not cancelled any services: "Rather we have amended some departure times."

Kerikeri-based Green Party list MP David Clendon said the grounding of the earlier morning link "doesn't make sense". A regular user of the service, he said that flight had always been "full, or nearly full".

"I simply can't believe it has been stopped because it is poorly subscribed to," he said.

"This reflects a further reduction on services in general to Northland. Anything that reduces our connectivity to the rest of the country is not good for the region."

Mr Clendon said the flight was well timed for business people, people attending medical appointments in Auckland and travellers wanting to connect with morning flights out of Auckland.

Neither Far North mayor John Carter or Andy Nock, chief executive of the council's property management arm, Far North Holdings, was available for comment yesterday.

Far North Holdings plans to redevelop and enlarge the airport's terminal this year to ensure it is fit for purpose. The runaway was upgraded last year to accommodate the 50-seater Bombardier Dash 8 Q300s which replaced the 19-seater Beechcraft on the Auckland route.

Air NZ said the larger passenger capacity was one of the reasons it had reviewed its Kerikeri link.

The airline said it has closely analysed the flow of passengers to provide the best possible connectivity to, from and through Auckland for customers in Kerikeri.

"Our analysis shows the majority of passengers on the Auckland-Kerikeri route only travel as far as Auckland."

- Northern Advocate

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