On the 30th of October 1983 Air New Zealand reintroduced a Sunday service through Westport giving Hokitika 11 flights a week, daily to Christchurch and four days a week to Westport and Wellington. There was a good response to the Sunday service and so a year later, from the 29th of October 1984, the link to Wellington via Westport was increased to six flights on week operated on Sundays through to Fridays. Air New Zealand's Regional Manager, said. "The move to add additional flights is a response by the airline to a healthy growth in passenger demand over the last year."
Timetable effective 27 October 1980... Nelson has been cut, and two departures within 45 minutes! That can't have helped making a profit.
|Westport News - 4 April 1984... after regaining a Sunday service|
|Northbound on on the 18th of March 1984 was 500 series ZK-NFH on NZ792 while southbound was 100 series ZK-BXF on NZ701. Photos : S Lowe|
|Fokker Friendship 500 Series ZK-NFD (above) and ZK-NFE carried a white line between the teal and the blue. Photo taken at Hokitika on May 1980 by S Lowe|
The last timetable for the Friendship service, effective 28 March 1988
The final Air New Zealand Friendship services were flown to Hokitika on Sunday the 30th of October. 1988 The northern flight to Westport and Wellington was flown by ZK-BXE while the final flight, NZ703, was flown to Christchurch under the command of Captain David McDonald and First Officer First Officer Francis van Woerkom in ZK-BXI with 33 passengers on board. This was the official end of the Hokitika’s friendship with the aircraft which had launched the trans-alpine service some 20 years before on the 20th of December 1968.
While this marked the end of Air New Zealand’s service to Hokitika Friendships were seen in Hokitika’s skies over the next few weeks as they operated a number of flights under charter to Air Nelson while the latter company awaited the arrival of its Metroliner aircraft.
|Westport News, 6 August 1990|