Business labelled key in direct flight trial

Air New Zealand head of regional affairs Reuben Levermore addresses the Invercargill business...
Air New Zealand head of regional affairs Reuben Levermore addresses the Invercargill business community last night on the introduction of direct flights between Invercargill and Auckland. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH
With six weeks to go until launch day, the Invercargill business community has been told it will be key in making Air New Zealand's trial of direct flights between Invercargill and Auckland a success.

A five-times-a-week A320 service begins on August 25.

Fares have started at $79 one-way.

Speaking at a Southland Chamber of Commerce event at the Classic Motorcycle Mecca in Invercargill,

Air New Zealand head of domestic route performance Iain Walker said sales had been positive, and 11,500 seats had been sold.

He said the service was about connecting New Zealanders across the nation.

"I know from day 1 we're going to get a really strong business following from this flight."

Great South chief executive Ann Lockhart said inquiries into assessing demand for a direct flight were carried out in surveys in 2008 and 2017, both indicating such a service was wanted.

The later survey prompted a business case to be made and the direct flight announcement came last December.

She said there were "endless benefits" for both local businesses and the tourism industry.

"It is forecast over the next three years the direct economic benefit to the region would be between $11.5million and $12.5million, and some think [that] is on the conservative side."

Mr Walker said fare prices for the route would be similar to those offered from Queenstown and Dunedin.

Air New Zealand head of regional affairs Reuben Levermore said while it would be running as a trial, no end date would be set.

"As long as the service is performing, it's going to continue."

Comments

at 171 seats on an Air NZ domestic A320, 11500 seats sold is equivalent of over 67 x 100% full flights. $79 fares are great, but how many of the 11500 were $79 fares & how many more in the future. There were probably more $79 seats in the initial launch phase.

top_header.jpg

bottom_header.jpg