The first direct flight between WƒÅnaka and Christchurch took off from Wanaka Airport on Tuesday morning.
Chief executive of Queenstown Airport Corporation Colin Keel says the start of the service is a great milestone for Wanaka Airport.
“We are pleased to have been working together with Sounds Air on their proposal to introduce scheduled services between WƒÅnaka and Christchurch. It has also been great to see the positive local community response to the introduction of the service.”
“We are planning to fly every day of the week with 12 return flights a week at this stage, using our turbo-prop Pilatus PC12 aircraft," says Sounds Air CEO Andrew Crawford.
"This aircraft is ideal for an airport like WƒÅnaka and requires no additional infrastructure to be built there. It has a comfortable, pressurised cabin that will be able to take up to nine passengers at a time on the 45-minute journey between WƒÅnaka and Christchurch airports”
“The regional connectivity that this flight service brings will enable locals to travel more easily, support domestic tourism, aid local business recovery and improve access to health services,” Andrew says.
Ticket prices range from $159 to $279, on a 3-tier ticketing system where the price increases with the flexibility of the ticket. Sounds Air reports that ticket sales are going well.
Scheduled services have not operated at WƒÅnaka Airport since 2013. The population of WƒÅnaka and the Upper Clutha increased by 39 per cent between 2013 and 2019.