Commercial airline aims for direct flights to several major centres
Air travellers will soon have an option for same day travel to Hamilton, Tauranga, Rotorua or Great Barrier Island from Whangarei without the need to travel through Auckland.
Encouraged by the increasing population of Whangarei and the surrounding districts, Tauranga based commercial airline Sunair Aviation is extending into Whangarei with scheduled flights out of Whangarei starting April 3.
The company is privately owned by Dan and Bev Power who are proud of its 30 year history and excellent safety record.
Dan is a commercial pilot and qualified aircraft engineer while Bev takes care of the office and administration part of the business. It offers a fleet of Piper Aztec six seater all weather planes.
The airline has created its own terminal at the Whangarei airport by refurbishing an existing building which will allow easy boarding and disembarking.
"There is ample free parking and the terminal has coffee and tea making facilities," Bev says.
"Initially an experienced flight crew will be relocated to Whangarei from existing Sunair bases."
The opportunity to employ local crews may be considered in the future.
Daily flights are scheduled Monday to Friday with a 15 minute check-in required.
"Same day return flights eliminate overnight accommodation costs for businesses and leisure travellers."
One way flights range from $190 to $290 depending on the destination.
Charter services will also be available.
Bookings can be made by phone, email, via the website and through a 24 hr call centre. At this stage no personal bookings will be taken at the terminal.
Power says Sunair is already operating flights from Whangarei for the Northland District Health Board and have been approached to extend this further.
The company has been selected by the All-of-Government panel to be one of two non jet (the other is in the South Island) preferred carriers for all Government personnel air travel.
In addition Sunair is starting a flight training school at the airport which will include training for both private pilot and commercial licences.
The company currently runs a training school in Tauranga and will offer this same level of service to the local community.
A training aircraft will be based at Whangarei.