Daily NZ Post flights ending

The daily mail will soon no longer arrive in Dunedin by air after NZ Post decided to scrap its daily flights in and out of the city.

The continuing change in New Zealanders' use of postal services was behind the change, NZ Post transport general manager Alan Court said yesterday.

''As New Zealanders send more parcels and fewer letters, we've been looking at the way our aviation services are organised to ensure they are cost effective and fit for the future.''

The end of the daily service would take effect from October 5.

The impact on delivery services would be minimal ''because alternative road and air transport arrangements are being put in place'', he said.

NZ Post had been operating daily flights in and out of Dunedin for about 25 years, most recently in its Metroliner aircraft, Mr Court said.

The aircraft carried priority letters and packages, although in recent years the number of letters had steadily declined, offset by steady growth in packages and parcels.

The Metroliner was being retired, although NZ Post would ''regularly'' use a commercial carrier as ''part of the replacement network that we're putting in place''.

As part of that network, NZ Post would be adding an additional van to increase its road capacity, Mr Court said.

''There will be no impact on FastPost, Boxlink and International mail delivery standards for the overwhelming majority of customers. Our nationwide overnight service standard for CourierPost product will be unaffected.''

Dunedin Airport chief executive Richard Roberts said the change would be ''fairly immaterial to our operations from a revenue point of view''.

-craig.borley@odt.co.nz

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