The capital city of New Zealand finally has a public transport connection to the airport again.
Wellington's new fully electric airport bus service will launch tomorrow after NZ Bus pulled the pin on the Airport Flyer in late 2020.
Ten purpose-built buses make up the new Airport Express fleet, which will run between the central railway station, via the central city and Kilbirnie, to the airport.
Services will be every 10-20 minutes, seven days a week. The trip will take between 25 and 35 minutes, depending on traffic.
People can use cash, contactless debit or credit cards, or Snapper cards to pay for their journey, which will cost between $7.50 and $9.50.
Transport Minister Michael Wood stepped on to one of the buses this afternoon.
"This is a fantastic day for the Wellington public transport system and for Wellingtonians to have a public transport connection back to the airport. We've been too long without one."
Combined with the Let's Get Wellington Moving (LGWM) announcement made yesterday, Wood hoped people would have a sense of confidence that an effective public transport network was being built in the city.
Yesterday Wood announced the Government's preferred option for LGWM was to build light rail to Island Bay and a second Mt Victoria tunnel.
The new tunnel would have no additional lanes for vehicles, but instead have two lanes for cars and two lanes for public transport.
Greater Wellington Regional Council chairman Daran Ponter said the airport bus will be a vital service for the region.
"With New Zealand's borders open to the world and domestic flights returning to pre-Covid levels, Metlink's Airport Express will boost Wellington's value as a regional hub for air travel."
Wellington Airport recently reported having its busiest day since March 2020, with more than 18,000 passengers through the terminal on Friday June 3.
Airport chief executive Matt Clarke said the buses will help to reconnect Wellington to the world.
"Giving air travellers convenient, affordable and reliable transport to and from the airport is fundamental, and we are pleased that Metlink will now have a service operating for both visitors and the people of the Wellington region."
The buses will include free Wi-Fi, USB chargers and luggage racks.
Recently purchased by Transdev, Mana Newlands will operate the buses.
Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said the Airport Express would help stimulate the local economy in a sustainable way.
"Major airports need good public transport links to their cities and the Airport Express launch is well-timed as our air passenger numbers recover from the impacts of Covid.
"With stops in the heart of the city near attractions, shops and hotels, this is a service for every traveller whether here for business or pleasure."