The last Air New Zealand flight from the Kapiti Coast to Auckland today will be met with much disappointment MP for Otaki Nathan Guy says.
“The National carrier has let down thousands of Kapiti commuters by only giving three weeks’ notice ahead of cutting its last flight today.
“I’ve been working hard with key stakeholders to find an alternate provider since the Air New Zealand decision. Discussions with Air Chathams have been progressing well and I’m hopeful of a positive decision in the next two weeks.
“I lodged my petition in Parliament last week to save Kapiti flights after it had gathered over 8000 signatures in the short time it had been circulating. It now heads to the Finance Select Committee for consideration by MPs from across the Parliament.
“As Air New Zealand waves goodbye to Kapiti commuters, my challenge to the company is to support Air Chathams and Todd Property with the necessary ground equipment, information and expertise to ensure a seamless transition – even if it takes a couple of months for Air Chathams to commence flights.
“I am also calling on Air New Zealand to allow Air Chathams bookings to be accessed through its website – just like a code share agreement.
“It also makes logical sense for domestic bags transferring to an Air New Zealand flight to be jointly tagged to save the hassle of passengers walking to a new check-in counter.
“Frequent flyers on both Air New Zealand and Air Chathams would also appreciate having access to the Air New Zealand regional lounges.
“Since Air New Zealand has a habit of ditching regional services and leaving Air Chathams to pick up the slack, it’s about time the national carrier struck a formal agreement with Air Chathams to provide similar services for those in the regional areas they’ve deserted – and I’d expect this to be given some serious consideration,” Mr Guy says.