On a grey and wet Sunday afternoon, an Air Chathams plane broke through the cloud and landed at Kapiti Coast Airport. It was a special moment.
Its arrival signalled preparation for the resumption of flights between Paraparaumu and Auckland, which started on Monday at 7am.
The Kāpiti-Auckland service was postponed during levels 4 and 3 of the Covid-19 health crisis but was able to resume its schedule in level 2 after various preparations had been completed.
Monday also saw the resumption of the airline's regional North Island services.
"We're looking at 70 flights a week as opposed to the 100 flights we had been doing," Air Chathams general manager Duane Emeny said referring to services to Whangarei, Whanganui and Paraparaumu.
"Very happy to be in a position where we feel confident enough to restart those markets.
"We wouldn't have been able to do that unless we had the three councils supporting us.
"It's going to be a slow build but, actually, of the three regions, we were very pleased with Kāpiti in terms of forward booking and passengers carried for this week.
"Kāpiti was probably the best performer."
Fourteen passengers were on the first flight out of Kāpiti which was a good number once social distancing requirements were factored in.
"It's definitely good having the aeroplane back in the air."
It would be a slow rebuild, he predicted, but there was cause for optimism when people knew flight operations were back operating and some of the Budget's infrastructure projects started in the regions.
Meanwhile, Airways NZ has announced it was to cease providing an airfield flight information service at Kapiti Coast Airport.
"We don't see a big increase in risk as a result of not having that service there," said Mr Emeny, citing various processes the airline had in place.