11 June 2016

Kerikeri Keeps Overnighting Q300

Air New Zealand as u-turned on its decision to reschedule a valued early morning flight from Kerikeri to Auckland. After the announcement that Air New Zealand was changing the first departure time from 6.55am to 9.10am customer backlash has resulted in a new time of 6am from October 30. Air New Zealand networks general manager Richard Thomson says the airline is committed to operating a comprehensive domestic schedule. “The new schedules have been generally well received by customers although a couple of communities raised concerns around new peak business flights timings.” Waitangi National Trust management board chairman Mike Simm says it is great there is still an early flight out of Kerikeri. “There could be an inconvenience for people out of the region but it could have been a lot worse.” The communication between Air New Zealand was very poor regarding the flight time changes, Simm says. None of the frequent flyers I know were consulted about it. “We need every assistance we can get to realise the potential and the north.” Kerikeri based GP Chris Reed says the early flights allow for a full day of work and return trip to Auckland and Wellington. As the Northland representative on the national advisory board for the Royal New Zealand College of General Practitioners Reed says it would have affected him too not have the early flight. “It is such an essential travel corridor. While we have technology that allows for Skype sometimes you need to be able to have face to face communication.” Far North mayor John Carter has been involved with ongoing discussions with Air New Zealand. “The earlier flight to Auckland allows you to spend a full day there or and Wellington and return without the cost of accommodation.” Far North Holdings chief executive Andy Nock says the early flight is fundamental for Kerikeri. “It’s great that we have got the flight, it is something we have worked through with Air New Zealand.” The airline also plans to change the last time of its last flight from Auckland to Kerikeri from the current 6.55pm to 7.35pm.

Source : Bay Chronicle, 9 June 2016

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