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Working to adapt to an empty international visitor market, a southern air service is trialling a new Invercargill-based venture next month.
Air Milford and Invercargill Airport have teamed up to trial an Invercargill based service to tour Fiordland and western Southland.
Operations manager and chief pilot Antony Sproull said response to the idea had been so far, so good.
Fingers crossed for good weather, there would be three flights on December 11 to take up to 13 passengers on each trip.
The flight path would be split in two segments.
The first was about an hour long and would head across western Southland and over various fiords.
The next leg would carry passengers over the hydro-electric sites at Deep Cove and West Arm, overfly Lake Manapouri before landing at Manapouri Airport for a break.
Mr Sproull called the airport adorable, and said it was an opportunity to use a Southland ratepayer asset he thought was overlooked.
The tour would then head back east to Invercargill.
Mr Sproull had the idea after the first lockdown; he explained the impact of Covid-19 on the business meant it needed to be creative in how it operated, particularly with no international visitors.
"It’s an opportunity to utilise the aircraft we’ve got."
The trial was being used as a starting point for future ventures.
If successful, he said the company would look at doing similar flights over other southern areas such as The Catlins or Stewart Island.