New Zealand’s regional airline Origin Pacific Airways announced it will begin a new air service next month which will provide the first direct connection to Christchurch from Tauranga.The New Zealand owned and operated airline will fly a 29-seat Jetstream 41 between the two cities Monday to Friday from June 28, with the business travellers a particular target.
Origin Pacific will also fly a weekend service from Tauranga to Nelson with connections on to Christchurch and return from Nelson via Wellington on Sunday.
Managing director Robert Inglis said the airline was always looking for new opportunities to meet the demand for competitive air services throughout New Zealand and Tauranga-
Christchurch fitted the bill. “It seemed an obvious fit to us. This is New Zealand’s fastest growing region outside Auckland and yet the only direct air connections were with Auckland and Wellington. It was only natural for a city this size to have a direct air link with the South Island’s major city.”
David Collier, Origin Pacific’s General Manager of Passenger Services, said the airline was assisted in its decision by the Tauranga business community. “The Tauranga Chamber of Commerce has done surveys of the local business community that clearly established the demand for a direct service to Christchurch. Tauranga’s economic development organisation, Priority One, backed that up by getting local businesses
to commit to pre-purchasing flights on the new service.
” We are also very confident that the service will be welcomed and strongly supported by
Canterbury business and the wider community.”
Priority One business development manager Andrew Coker said a new air service linking Tauranga directly to the South Island’s largest city would drive economic growth across the whole of the western Bay of Plenty.
Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jane Nees said that the local business community had expressed a need for a direct service and she was delighted that Origin Pacific had been willing to listen to that demand.
“One of the big advantages in the scheduling is that business people can realistically fly to Christchurch and back the same day, saving both the expense of overnighting in a hotel and the lost time with connecting flights.”
The Jetstream 41 is a 29 seat aircraft with flight attendant service and is currently the fastest turbo prop in the country. It will fly direct from Tauranga to Christchurch in approximately 90 minutes. The flight will depart Tauranga at 7a.m. and depart from Christchurch at 5.50p.m. The weekend service will depart Tauranga at 9.30a.m. Saturday morning and return from Nelson at 5.30p.m. on Sunday.
The new Tauranga service will be available for booking as of May 22 2006