04 January 2018

Last Kaikoura Flight Coverage

Sounds Air operated its last flight to Blenheim-Kaikoura-Blenheim (SDA 31/34) service on 29 December 2017. The flight was under the command of Tom Williams in Cessna Caravan ZK-SAN. 

This was the second time Sounds Air had withdrawn from Kaikoura. For a complete history of Sounds Air's services to Kaikoura see:

A photo essay of flights between Blenheim and Kaikoura can be found here:
and here:

It has been a godsend for many residents in the top of the South, but now the road is open again Sounds Air has called time on its direct air service to Kaikōura. The Blenheim-Kaikōura passenger service took to the skies for the final time on Friday, marking the end of the route. Sounds Air was quick to set up the service after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in November 2016 forced the closure of State Highway 1.  It had been a saviour for both private and business travellers. But Sounds Air managing director Andrew Crawford said people were more likely to drive to Kaikōura now that the highway had reopened. "I wouldn't fly it so I wouldn't expect others to," he said. Sounds Air's six passenger service flights between Blenheim and Kaikōura each week had been a huge support for businesses, said Kaikōura Cheese co-owner Sarah Jenkins. "All the help that we've had... is the reason we are still going." Within days of the quake Sounds Air had offered Jenkins cargo space to fly cheese packages to market in Blenheim once or twice a week. "It's been fundamental to our survival," she said. "It's definitely a massive thank you from our family and staff." The final flight in a 12-seater Cessna Caravan landed in Blenheim just after 1pm on Friday. Ground crew member Sarah Butt, who was on the final flight, said one of the five passengers on board became quite emotional to learn it was the last flight. "The lady was very appreciative and emotional," she said. Pilot Tim Williams said it was also a tough day for airport staff in Kaikōura. "The staff down there were quite sad about it," he said. All other flights with Sounds Air were still running as normal.

There are photos of the last flight about to leave Blenheim at : 


  1. Sounds Air should look at using the spare Caravan to open up Wellington To Kaikoura again even if its 3 days per week to begin with.
    Would be great for international tourists to go Whale watching more easily and weekend breaks etc.

    1. Why would it work now when it didnt in the past Jarden?

  2. If they were to start it up again it would have to be well marketed. Incidentally the Blenheim to Napier is like 3 per week anyone know how that one is doing.

  3. Ironically as SH1 closes with the first rain (albeit a decent storm) since the road opened. This is going to happen a lot until the project is finally finished, but I guess Sounds Air can’t bank on that.