Air Chathams celebrates one year flying Kāpiti skies
Kāpiti Coast District Council and Air Chathams have today celebrated a year of flying Kāpiti skies.
The airline, which undertook its first commercial flight from Kāpiti on 20 August 2018, has welcomed over 40,000 passengers on approximately 1472 flights travelling between Auckland and Paraparaumu over the last 12 months.
Kāpiti Coast Mayor K Gurunathan says the encouraging statistics are testimony to the value the region places on a direct flight service through to Auckland.
“It’s clear that Air Chathams is building a strong and loyal customer base that is benefiting from the comfort and convenience of this regional connection,” says Mayor Gurunathan.
“Keeping Kāpiti connected and accessible through this service strengthens business and family networks and bolsters our visitor economy. Our District’s share of regional and national tourism has been increasing by 10-15% year-on-year over the past three years and this service enables us to continue that momentum.”
Duane Emeny, Air Chathams General Manager says the airline has received a warm Kāpiti welcome and has enjoyed meeting its new customers over the last year.
“We’d like to extend a great big thank you to all our passengers as they’ve journeyed along with us as we’ve found our place on the Kāpiti Coast,” says Mr Emeny.
“As a family-run business built on our involvement in the communities we serve, we’ve heard first-hand how our service is bringing together friends, families and businesses. We think that fits our business goals perfectly.”
In 2018, the Council agreed to support Air Chathams through the ‘Fly Kāpiti’ campaign to aid in promoting the service. Council’s $50,000 investment in marketing was supplemented by initial support from Air New Zealand and Kāpiti Coast Airport, which offered Air Chathams a free terminal lease for the first year, along with other ongoing discounts on operating charges.
Today’s milestone was celebrated with a birthday cake for passengers and key supporters at the Kāpiti Coast Airport.