Regional airline Sounds Air will now be flying customers between Nelson and the Kāpiti Coast’s Paraparaumu.
The service commences on June 15 and will provide two outgoing and incoming flights per day, adding up to 13,000 seats in and out of Nelson and Paraparaumu each year.
Sounds Air managing director Andrew Crawford said the decision to introduce the new route came after they started a flight service between Blenheim and Paraparaumu in January this year.
“That was going really well so we thought we would try flying to Nelson as well,” said Crawford.
Nelson Airport chief executive Rob Evans said the new route would be positive for the airport’s growth and the local economy.
“Kāpiti Coast is a high growth area and a good strategic link for us,” said Evans.
Nelson Tasman Tourism chief executive Lynda Keene said having a direct link to the Kāpiti Coast area was great news for Nelson.
“There’s a the convenience factor to it,” said Keene.
There are some restrictions for people on the Kāpiti Coast having to travel via Wellington to Nelson. Having a direct route is going to make a lot easier.
Sounds Air also has flight services from Wellington to Nelson, Picton, Blenheim, Taupo, Westport.
The price to fly between Nelson and Paraparaumu will be fixed, with an internet fare costing $125 per adult and $115 per child. A standard fare would cost $135 per adult and $125 per child.
The flight time of 40 minutes would be cost and time effective, said Crawford. He said it would keep the essential air service alive between the Kāpiti/Manawatu and Nelson/Tasman regions.
“There is demand mostly from people in Kāpiti trying to get to Tasman Bay – the fact you can go over and back in day is the main drawcard.”
There was also strong interest from businesses flying between the two destinations for work, said Crawford.
He said the intended flight schedule was open to expanding but the company would commence flights on the new route before looking at introducing additional routes.no