Auckland, here we come
Bombardier will make four return flights dailyCHLOE WINTER
Larger aircraft will be operating in and out of Marlborough Airport each day from next month to meet increased demand.
From February 10, Air New Zealand will run a 50-seat Bombardier Q300 on the Blenheim-Auckland route instead of a 19-seat Beechcraft 1900D.
Air New Zealand regional affairs manager Ian Collier said the Q300 would make four return flights each day between the two airports.
This was a full day of flying for the aircraft and would add around 800 seats to this route per week, Mr Collier said.
A second Q300 would be used for some Blenheim to Wellington flights but would not be solely allocated to this route, Mr Collier said.
Marlborough Airport manager Dean Heiford said he hoped the use of the Q300 would mean cheaper fares for passengers.
The two Q300 and one 1900D aircraft would stay overnight at the airport, Mr Heiford said.
"The Q300's will sit on the apron [area outside terminal].
"There are no hangars [storage] for the aircraft."
An expansion of the apron would begin in April to cater for the larger planes and is part of the new design plan set for the airport.
It includes an extension to the terminal and is expected to take six months to complete.
The plan is to increase the floor space of the passenger area within the terminal, relocate the passenger check-in area to provide more space for queues, and move the baggage reclaim area under cover.
- The Marlborough Express