Nearly 2000 seats on Air Chathams have already been booked between Paraparaumu and Auckland ahead of its launch this month — a strong indication of the support Kāpiti has for the regional airline.

"Initial bookings are trending positively with the first seats sold within minutes of the Kāpiti to Auckland service announcement," Air Chathams general manager Duane Emeny said.

"The airline has sold just under 2000 seats already with another three weeks until launch on August 20.

"It gives us real confidence that Kāpiti residents and those abroad are aware of our good reputation and booking seats early with Air Chathams' new Kāpiti service."


Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Heather Hutchings said the large number of early bookings is also an indication of the strength of Kāpiti's economy.

"Our economy is outperforming the Wellington region's.

"Last year we grew by 2.7 per cent compared to 2.2 per cent across the wider region.

"Infrastructure like these daily flights will be vital in shaping our economy, particularly alongside the opportunities major developments like Transmission Gully offer."

She wanted the business communities from Horowhenua through to Porirua to give the airline a warm welcome.

"Air Chathams is a fast-growing regional airline known for its exceptional customer service, convenience and competitive fares.

"The flights from Kāpiti are incredibly business friendly with 36 frequent flights to and from Auckland each week.

"The recent Colmar Brunton research commissioned by the Kāpiti Coast District Council revealed there is significant untapped potential in Horowhenua and Porirua for travellers."

They found in the last 12 months:

■More than 44,000 trips to and from Auckland originating from the Kāpiti Coast flew via Wellington.

■More than 11,000 trips to and from Auckland originating from Horowhenua flew via Wellington.

■More than 85,000 trips to and from Auckland originating from Porirua flew via Wellington.

An open day takes place on Sunday at Kapiti Coast Airport from 10am to 3pm where people can view the Chathams' Saab 340, meet the crew and preview other event displays, including the Chathams' DC3, the amphibious Catalina, Soundsair, Heliworx and Life Flight aircraft.
There will be a range of other light planes on site for the day thanks to local aero club and sports aircraft associations.