Wellington Scoop

Air New Zealand cutting its flights to Masterton and Wanganui

Press Release – Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand has today announced the suspension of two loss making regional services.

From February, the airline will no longer operate to or from Masterton airport. The airline has operated a Beech 1900D service between Masterton and Auckland since 2009, however, lack of demand combined with increased operating costs mean the route is no longer economically viable.

In addition to this, from December the airline will withdraw its five times per week service between Wanganui and Wellington. This service operates as a Taupo-Wanganui-Wellington service on three of the five days. Increased costs including airport landing charges have also contributed to this route’s lack of viability.

From February, the airline will boost capacity between Auckland and Rotorua by introducing a larger Bombardier Q300 aircraft onto the route. The 50 seat Q300 aircraft will replace the 19 seat Beech 1900D on weekday morning services, increasing total seat capacity on the route by 30 percent.

The recent introduction of new ATR72-600 aircraft into the domestic fleet has enabled the airline to free up Q300 capacity to apply to the Auckland-Rotorua route. The cost advantage of operating larger Q300 aircraft over the smaller Beech 1900Ds increases the economic viability of the route and means customers will benefit from significantly more seats being available at the lead in fare level of $79 one-way.

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