Picton-based airline Sounds Air is expanding services into the competitive Cook Strait run, by adding more flights to its Nelson-Wellington schedule.
Managing director Andrew Crawford said the company recently bought a new 13-seat Cessna Caravan airplane, allowing it to add two evening flights to its early-morning Wellington-Nelson service, which had been operating for two years.
The new aircraft brought the airline's fleet to seven aircraft, Mr Crawford said.
Sounds Air currently runs a Wellington-Nelson passenger and freight service from Monday to Friday, arriving at 6.40am. Return flights to Wellington leave soon afterwards at 7am, with a flight time of 35 minutes. Fares range from $75 to $95 one way.
Mr Crawford said the service was popular, but passengers were asking how they could get back to their destination at night.
The new service, which begins this Friday, will leave Wellington at 6.15pm and arrive in Nelson before 7pm. The return flight from Nelson will leave at 7.15pm, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.
Mr Crawford said further expansion might include adding Tuesdays and Thursdays to the schedule.
"We know Cook Strait - we've been flying it for more than 20 years."
Sounds Air, which was formed in 1986, links the North Island and South Island with flights between Wellington, Picton, Blenheim, Kaikoura and Nelson.
- The Nelson Mail
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