Bombardier takes off

CHLOE WINTER
Last updated 11:30 04/03/2014
Air New Zealand Bombardier Q300
ZAR LILLEY

Air New Zealand Bombardier Q300.

Relevant offers

Business

The map with pins on it: A symbol of everything businesses in Seddon and Ward have lost since the earthquake Volunteer convoy rescues 160 camper vans and cars from Kaikoura New Zealand transport companies sold, new owner eyes growth Bad news for cherry lovers - poor spring keeps a lid on this season's crop Sounds Air offers additonal Christmas flights as travellers look to avoid inland bypass Dairy cows dodge cars, trains and planes to milking shed Online personal shopper plan to help Kaikoura shops over Christmas Over 300 Kaikoura businesses seeking government help to survive post-quake Tourism leaders want $130m fund to pay for tourism infrastructure Q + A: Meet Eat Thai Restaurant owner Benjamas Srihorn

The airport expansion cannot come soon enough, as more Q300 aircraft flying in and out of Marlborough Airport create added pressure, manager Dean Heiford says.

Air New Zealand has been using a 50-seat Bombardier Q300 on the Blenheim-Auckland route instead of a 19-seat Beechcraft 1900D since February 10. This created an extra of 800 seats each week.

Mr Heiford said the change had been a positive move for Air New Zealand and the region, though they were struggling to keep up with demand.

"We are getting really positive feedback from the travelling public," he said. "We are really noticing the change and it [the aircraft] is really popular and really full.

"It's a good start [but] roll on the expansion."

Work will get under way in April, starting with the apron, the area in front of the terminal where planes park. It will be extended, as will the terminal. The passenger check-in area will be relocated and the baggage claim area will be under cover.

The expansion is expected to take six months to complete.

One issue the airport staff have noticed since the change to the bigger Q300s was space, Mr Heiford said.

"One issue we are finding is the parking. We need more car parks."

Mr Heiford was working on a proposal to expand the car park, he said.

He was unsure whether more Q300 aircraft would be used on other routes in and out of Marlborough, but said it was up to public demand and Air New Zealand.

An Air NZ spokesperson said they were seeing strong demand for the Auckland-Blenheim service and were pleased with the route's performance.

Ad Feedback

- The Marlborough Express

Comments

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content