A small airline which failed to book any passengers on its inaugural flight into Whangārei recently has since picked up business and may even add extra flights.
Fly My Sky first flew from Auckland to Whangārei on the morning of October 29 with only its chief executive Keith McKenzie and Whangārei MP Dr Shane Reti on board.
The return flight on its 10-seater Britten Norman Islander twin-engine plane had one passenger.
The airline flies into Whangārei twice daily from Monday to Friday, with a one-way fare of $99 including 23kg luggage.
McKenzie said the number of passengers were starting to build up and he expected it to increase heading into the busy festive season.
"It's very encouraging. We offer flight times that suit people, particularly the early afternoon ones that means passengers avoid the afternoon traffic rush in Auckland and in Whangārei," he said.
"The lightest flights are those departing Auckland at 6.55am and leaving Whangārei at 8.25am but the one leaving Whangārei at 2.50pm and arriving into Auckland at 3.30pm is popular.
"So we're slowly building up and we expect as the time goes by that more people who fly with us talk to family and friends and it will build up from there. Flights to and from Whangārei are cheaper than doing a scenic flight over Auckland," he said.
McKenzie said the company would look early next year whether to increase Auckland to Whangārei flights.
He was unfazed at a lack of booking during its inaugural flight to Whangārei and blamed it on a lack of advertising.
"We haven't done much advertising as we prefer to keep it a little bit quieter rather than making a big song and dance about our entry into Whangārei but I'd expect bookings to pick up as we go along," he said.
The Auckland-based airline operates from Auckland to Great Barrier Island and Whangārei in its 10-seater Britten Norman Islander twin-engine planes. Air New Zealand welcomed the entry of Fly My Sky into the Northland market.
Another airline, Sunair, operates between Whangārei, Great Barrier Island, Hamilton and Tauranga, based on demand and opened a flight training school in Whangārei this year.