A trial service between Christchurch, Mt Cook and Queenstown
will be launched by Air New Zealand tomorrow, designed to
meet high-season demand and provide tourists with a
convenient way to visit several of the South Island's key
Air New Zealand Australasia group general manager Bruce
Parton said the service would be the 28th destination on the
airline's domestic network.
''The service will make it quick and easy for groups to take
a day trip to the region or overnight at Mt Cook. '
'The connection through to Queenstown will also enable
travellers on a tight schedule to visit multiple South Island
destinations,'' he said.
The trial service would operate for six weeks, from Sunday
until January 27.
The 40-minute service between Christchurch and Mt Cook will
operate three times a week - Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays
- timed to connect with the arrival at Christchurch of the
direct service from Tokyo and other morning services into
Christchurch from domestic airports, including Auckland,
Rotorua and Wellington.
The first flight was scheduled to depart from Christchurch at
11.45am and arrive at Mt Cook at 12.25pm before continuing on
to Queenstown at 1.30pm. On the return journey, the flight
would depart from Queenstown at 3.10pm, arrive in Mt Cook at
3.50pm and landing back in Christchurch at 4.30pm.
Air New Zealand's subsidiary airline, Mt Cook Airline, would
operate the service, using a 68-seat ATR aircraft.
Mr Parton said while the airline would ''no doubt assess the
success'' of the service as a seasonal route, there were no
plans to extend a year-round Mt Cook service.
The airline last operated services between Christchurch and
Mt Cook a decade ago, with the last service in February 2002.