Flight changes to cause disruption

Users of Air New Zealand's 6.55am weekday service are disappointed to learn about it now leaving at 9.10 am.
MARTIN DE RUYTER

Users of Air New Zealand's 6.55am weekday service are disappointed to learn about it now leaving at 9.10 am.

Users of Air New Zealand's Kerikeri to Auckland services say they will be inconvenienced by a change to the flight schedule.

Currently Auckland bound flights leave Kerikeri airport at 6.55am.

From October the earliest flight out of Kerikeri will depart at 9.10am.

Dr Robin MacDiarmid flies to Auckland frequently on the early service.

"It's particularly helpful to get to a 9am Auckland meeting or onto meetings in Blenheim," he says.

"This later flight is going to obliterate those two possibilities."

Green Party MP David Clendon says the early departure time allows users to be in the CBD by 8.30am.

With the later flight you would be lucky to get into the city by 10.30am and a good chunk of the business day would be gone, he says.

"I would like to see a bit more commitment from our national airline, reducing our connectivity will impact our economic growth.

"This service was always well patronised, mostly by business people and you could be ready for a whole day of business."

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An Air New Zealand spokesperson says the airline has analysed the flow of passengers to ensure they provide the best possible connectivity to, from and through Auckland for customers in Kerikeri.

"While we acknowledge the new schedule may not meet the needs of every customer, our analysis shows the majority of passengers on the Auckland - Kerikeri route only travel as far as Auckland."

They note that the airline has not cancelled any services, but rather have made amendments to the departure times.

Clendon says more people will have to bear the cost of travelling the night before and booking accommodation.

A Facebook page: AIR NZ - Save the Kerikeri 6.50am Flight has been launched.

Meanwhile, Barrier Air Services will continue with its scheduled early morning flights to Auckland from Kaitaia.

Chief Operating Officer Nick Pearson says the company is no longer receiving financial assistance from Far North Holdings to run its Kaitaia services and has recently added more flights to its schedule.

 

 - Stuff

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