In an e-mail to Kapiti businesses (below), Air New Zealand says, “the airline is currently making domestic schedule adjustments to better match its aircraft seat capacity to areas of growing customer demand and is committed to continuing to grow the wider regional network”.
“Air New Zealand has operated the Kapiti-Auckland service since 2011 and recognises the support the community has given to it.”
The company says it would support any other airline that operates the route.
The last Air New Zealand service will operate on 3 April.
“Passengers booked to travel past that date will be re-accommodated on alternative services.” Presumably this means that they will get tickets to/from Wellington instead.
Iride McCloy, a Member of the NZ Institute of Travel and Tourism in NZ and who has had an office on the Kapiti Coast since 1979, says, “This is a very sad day for Kapiti and we must now gather to address an alternative solution. We have been successful in the past having a private-satellite airline in Kapiti, and this can again be achieved. We must work collaboratively with experienced people in addressing this new direction presented to us and look at alternative methods in bringing visitors to our gorgeous coast.”
Despite the council’s propaganda, clearly Air New Zealand does not think Kapiti is “an area of growing demand” for flights. Perhaps it is looking ahead to the opening of the Transmission Gully Autobahn in 2 years which will reduce travel time to Wellington by up to 15 minutes, but more likely a company bean-counter has decided profits aren’t big enough on the route.