Kāpiti welcomes Air Chathams and first passengers to Kāpiti Coast Airport
Kāpiti Coast District Council and Kāpiti Coast Airport hosted an official welcome and pōwhiri for the first Air Chathams flight from Auckland to Kāpiti this afternoon - the eve of their first commercial flight out of the airport on 20 August 2018.
Landing at 3pm CEO, Craig Emeny and General Manager, Duane Emeny brought the plane into Kāpiti as host pilots for the day. Local passengers included Kāpiti Coast Mayor K. Gurunathan, Minister Kris Faafoi, Deputy Mayor Janet Holborow, Council CEO Wayne Maxwell, Airport CEO Robert Binney and Kāpiti Chamber of Commerce Chair, Heather Hutchings.
Local iwi, Hon Nathan Guy, along with local and regional councillors were part of welcoming the flight on the ground and into the terminal.
Passengers included four Auckland friends and family of Kāpiti residents who won free return flights from Auckland after an online video competition to tell Air Chathams about the person they’d love to see in Kāpiti most.
Mayor Gurunathan said the flight down had been a superb experience and the comfort and convenience of the new regional connection was something he hoped plenty more people would share now the 36 flights-a-week schedule is up and running.
“I’m proud and pleased to be part of welcoming our new air service provider linking our Coast to New Zealand’s largest city of Auckland.
“This family-run business is a very welcome addition to our team of operators in and out of Kāpiti Coast Airport, offering all the benefits of a relaxed and convenient regional airport experience.”
Minister Faafoi, who was accompanied by son George, said he has been proud to work alongside Kāpiti in its efforts to bring the direct to Auckland service back to the region and he and his family would be back on the Saab 340.
Airport CEO Robert Binney also came home on the flight and welcomed the airport’s newest operator.
“We are excited to see Air Chathams come to Kāpiti Coast Airport, and we look forward to offering you our support and great service as you build up your Auckland-Kāpiti route,” he said.
Acknowledging the formal welcome, Duane Emeny said Kāpiti had continued to welcome the new Air Chathams service since it was announced and all the signs were that the local loyalty was building quickly.
“The message that Auckland travellers can now easily get down here as friends, family and visitors is one we want to share across NZ’s biggest city.
“As well as many family and friends from Auckland that the Coast welcomes whenever it can, Kāpiti has plenty of unique visitor attractions built around a great climate and environment.
“We hope our particular style of customer service can add to a relaxing, reliable and convenient experience,” Mr Emeny said.