Sounds Air is looking at doubling its Wanganui-Wellington service.

The company is trialling a new service into Wanganui, aimed at getting Wellington commuters to the River City as well as making better connections to its South Island ports.

At the moment the company's Cessna Caravan plane flies from Wanganui in the morning with a return flight in the evening.

But from September 1 there will be a flight from the capital to Wanganui in the morning with a return flight mid-afternoon.


Andrew Crawford, Sounds Air managing director, said the change of schedule essentially doubles the flights to and from Wanganui.

"The new service will fly down to Wellington in the morning with a return flight back to Wanganui that same morning," Mr Crawford said.

"At the moment there's no avenue for Wellington people to get a day flight to and from Wanganui so this is what this new service will bring," he said.

"The beauty of this new service will mean it dovetails into connecting flights to Nelson, Blenheim and Picton. So it means someone can leave Wanganui on the first flight and be in Nelson by 9am. Until this new service they wouldn't get into Nelson until 2pm."

He said the company had had inquiries from Wellington people wanting to make that Wanganui connection.

At the moment Sounds Air flights leave Wanganui at 6.45am Monday to Saturday, arriving in the capital at 7.25am. Return flights are scheduled Monday to Friday and again on Sunday, leaving Wellington at 6pm and arriving at 6.40pm.

From the start of next month, the first Sounds Air flight will leave Wanganui at 6.30am with a return flight from the capital at 9.30am. That will be followed by a Wanganui-Wellington service leaving at 3.30pm and a return flight leaving the capital at 7.30pm, operating on the same days as the current flights.

Mr Crawford said the schedule will remain over summer then be reviewed. That review will also decide whether to locate pilots in Wanganui permanently.


He said it was a "bold move" but one that he believed will work.

"We did the same thing with our flights from Wellington to Nelson and it made a huge difference."

He said the revised flights from Wanganui and Wellington would also provide an ideal 'over-and-back' connection to Nelson, Blenheim and Picton.

Mr Crawford said the Wanganui service was holding its own.

"We could do with more passengers but it's slowly building which is positive," he said.

Sounds Air took over the Wanganui-Wellington route when Air NZ axed its daily service in December last year and started its service on January 21. The airline has flown Cook Strait for 25 years.