Air NZ subsidiary adds Kapiti flights

22:59, Jan 25 2011

Air New Zealand subsidiary Air Nelson will begin direct Auckland to Paraparaumu flights later this year.

The new schedule begins on Labour Weekend using Air Nelson's 50-seat Bombardier Q300 aircraft, and includes three return flights a day during the week, and three return flights over the weekends.

"The airport's location offers passengers from the Kapiti Coast a much more convenient alternative to the 45 minute drive to Wellington Airport," said Air Nelson general manager, Grant Kerr.

"It's all part of our constant drive to innovate in ways that save our customers time in their overall journey with new services such as self check in and Fast Bag."

Paraparaumu Airport is making a multi-million dollar investment to bring the airfield up to regular commercial flights standard.

This includes resurfacing of the main runway, an upgrade of the runway lighting and the installation of new airspace safety controls through Airways NZ's Aircraft Flight Information Service (AFIS).

A new terminal and car park are also being constructed.

Flight times between the two centres will be 70 minutes, and 1800 seats a week will be available on the route, with Paraparaumu becoming the 27th serviced by the national carrier.

Pricing and on-sale dates for the flights will be announced mid-year.

Kerr said while Air Nelson will initially offer 18 Paraparaumu-Auckland services per week, if there's demand the schedule will be expanded.

Shares in parent Air NZ fell 1.4 per cent to $1.43 in trading today.