Air New Zealand drops Christchurch to Kapiti flights

Air New Zealand is dropping flights between Christchurch and Kapiti. Air New Zealand will cut flights between Christchurch and the Kapiti Coast, due to a lack of demand.

The Kapiti Coast Airport to Christchurch route had been operating at a loss since it was launched two years ago, a statement from the airline said.

"Unfortunately the Paraparaumu to Christchurch route has been operating regularly at little over half full and that's simply not sustainable long term,"  group general manager for New Zealand and Pacific Islands Louise Struthers said.

The airline was increasing return services on the more popular route between Kapiti and Auckland by two per week, to a total of 16 weekly flights.

Struthers said this would create more opportunity for customers to connect via Auckland to the rest of the airline's domestic and international network.


* Air NZ trials Kapiti airport * Kapiti to Christchurch flights from November

Air New Zealand launched the daily service between Kapiti and Christchurch in November 2013 using 50-seater Bombardier Q300 aircraft.

At the time, Kapiti Coast Airport chairman Sir Noel Robinson said it was a big step forward and would boost tourism in the district.

"For the international traveller, it means they can come to Kapiti before going to the South Island, instead of going to Wellington and missing Kapiti out."

Kapiti Mayor Ross Church said he was disappointed to see the Christchurch service go, "however there simply hasn't been the demand we had hoped for".

"Kapiti residents accounted for 93 per cent of the total seats booked so our people were using the service – but flights that are regularly only half full aren't sustainable."

He said the council had worked with Air New Zealand to promote the service.

"We did raise concerns that the late morning flight from Kapiti and early afternoon return made the route unattractive to business commuters.  Unfortunately Air New Zealand was unable to accommodate different times within their schedule."

The last Paraparaumu to Christchurch service will be on February 28. Passengers already booked on services beyond that date will be given the option of flying via Wellington or Auckland, or receiving a full refund.

Flights from Paraparaumu to Auckland started in October 2011.

 - Stuff

Last updated 13:10, November 20 2015