TAURANGA-based Sunair Aviation Limited is introducing a range of new services linking Whakatane to other regional centres.
From Monday Sunair will offer scheduled weekday services from Whakatane Airport to Hamilton, Gisborne and Napier at times to suit business travellers.
Sunair spokesman Ryan Bergman said the company was “very excited” about the development of the new routes and providing for business and private traveller links between the centres.
“Sunair has been providing air services to and from the Bay of Plenty for more than 25 years and we believe there is both a demand and considerable potential to expand scheduled flights linking North Island regions.
“We’re delighted to include Whakatane in our route structure and look forward building a solid relationship with the business and wider community in the Eastern Bay of Plenty,” Mr Bergman says.
Services to and from Whakatane will be serviced by Sunair’s fleet of 10 Piper Aztec aircraft, each of which can carry five passengers.
Mayor Tony Bonne has applauded the Sunair service initiative.
“There is a definite gap in the market for scheduled services between regional centres and I think businesspeople will welcome the chance to be able to carry out a full day’s work in Gisborne, Napier and Hamilton without having to spend half of their time on the road,” he said. “We wish them well and encourage the community to support these new services.”
Flight times have been scheduled to suit business travellers, with departures for Gisborne and Napier at 9.30am, Monday to Friday.
Afternoon return flights depart from Napier at 4.00pm and Gisborne at 5.00pm, arriving at Whakatane Airport at 5.30pm.
There will also be a Gisborne-Whakatane morning flight, departing at 7.00am and arriving in Whakatane at 7.30am.
Whakatane-Hamilton flights will also be available Monday to Friday, departing Whakatane Airport at 7.45am and 5.45pm.
Return flights will depart from Hamilton at 8.45am and 6.45pm, arriving at Whakatane at 9.15am and 7.15pm respectively.
Fares will be $290 one-way, including GST. Bookings can be made online (www.sunair.co.nz), or by phone (0800 SUNAIR).