Meeting seeks more flights for Wanaka

More commercial flights for Wanaka Airport are on the agenda at a meeting next month between the resort's tourism and chamber of commerce representatives and the CEO of domestic airways carrier Eagle Air.

Increasing flight capacity to Wanaka would be "huge", Lake Wanaka Tourism general manager James Helmore said.

Queenstown Airport Corporation chief executive Steve Sanderson has helped arrange a meeting on March 11 between Eagle Air CEO Carrie Hurihanganui, Lake Wanaka Tourism, and the Wanaka Chamber of Commerce.

The QAC took over Wanaka Airport last year, after airport owner the Queenstown Lakes District Council voted for a management changeover.

Eagle Air operates a daily midday return service from Christchurch with 18 seats available per flight.

Ms Hurihanganui will speak about Eagle Air's operations at a Wanaka Chamber of Commerce meeting, which will be co-hosted by Lake Wanaka Tourism, chamber president Leigh Stock said.

Recent visitor statistics released by Lake Wanaka Tourism showed the highest proportional increase in New Zealand.

Increasing flight capacity to the resort was an "obvious" step to improving travel options and making it easier for international and domestic tourists to visit Wanaka, he said.

"It would be massive for us.

"We've identified it as one of our key strategic policies."

Air carriers would want to see a return from their commitment to a destination, Mr Helmore said.

Mr Sanderson has said an increase in flights to Wanaka would be "unlikely" to affect Queenstown Airport.


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