Kāpiti to take flight again from next month

2:33 pm on 2 July 2018

Air Chathams will take over flights between Paraparaumu and Auckland from 20 August.

No caption

Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

The Kāpiti Coast District Council confirmed the news this morning after three months of no flights in or out of Kāpiti Airport.

Air New Zealand stopped flying between Paraparaumu and Auckland on 3 April.

The decision was met with stiff opposition from locals.

Negotiations between Air Chathams and the council have since been ongoing.

Air Chathams chief executive Craig Emeny said the planning had been complex but they were excited to get started.

"Our business is built on a real sense of involvement in the communities we serve. It's a way of operating that's seen us connecting regional New Zealand for over 30 years which will be a key part of our success on the Kāpiti to Auckland route too."

"Planning for this new service has been complex, but our whole team is excited to be able to put our skill and experience to work on this new route," he said.

The airline has been helped financially including a council-funded $50,000 marketing campaign.

Air New Zealand has agreed to match that investment.

Air Chathams will also get a free terminal lease for the first year.

Kāpiti mayor K Gurunathan said it was good news.

"From the minute it was announced Kāpiti flights were being withdrawn I told Kāpiti to 'watch this space'. Now all the hard work with business, community and government to rally support to attract and secure air services for our District has paid off."

And Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce co-chair Julene Hope said it was a good decision for local businesses.

"Both the Kāpiti Coast District Council and Air Chathams have recognised the economic opportunities of having a direct link between Kapiti and Auckland.

"Now it is up to our community, and business travellers to make the most of this service and give it a warm Kapiti welcome," she said.

Ms Hope said businesses could make plans now that they had certainty of a local airport.

Air Chathams already operates in Auckland, Whakatāne, Whanganui, Wellington, Christchurch and its Chatham Islands' home base.

Tickets for the 20 August flights went onsale today.