Weekday service launches Monday 26 June
Hawke’s Bay Airport welcomes the news that North Island airline Sunair Aviation, is launching a new weekday service connecting Napier and Wairoa, and Napier and Gisborne, starting in late June.
Rob Stratford, Hawke’s Bay Airport CEO says news of the Sunair service will be welcomed by travellers, regional leaders, and the business community.
“Especially with Air New Zealand’s temporary Napier-Gisborne service wrapping up last week, it is vital that we have an alternative way to connect with Wairoa and Gisborne while State Highway 2 remains vulnerable.
“We can only see demand for direct air service connection growing as Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti move further into the cyclone recovery phase. It’s important that Hawke’s Bay Airport plays a leadership role as a key regional transport asset in maintaining and growing our connectivity with other parts of New Zealand.
“We’ve collaborated with our Wairoa and Gisborne counterparts to make this happen, and appreciate Sunair’s ability to work with us in establishing this service,” says Mr Stratford.
Dan Power, Flight Operations Manager Sunair Aviation, says the airline is pleased to help.
“We saw a need, and are very happy to do our bit to support East Coast communities. Even though the road network is operational, some people may be reluctant to travel by road. It is good to be able to offer travellers an alternative, and we are very grateful for the support of Hawke’s Bay, Wairoa, and Gisborne airports to allow us to offer this service.”
Sunair Aviation’s schedule connects Napier, Gisborne, and Wairoa with daily flights (six passenger capacity per flight) from Monday 26 June on weekdays. Gisborne has two return flights each day, as does Wairoa.
“Fares are $240 incl GST one way between Gisborne and Napier,” says Mr Power. “And thanks to the support being offered by Hawke’s Bay Airport and Wairoa District Council we are able to reduce the Napier – Wairoa airfares to $190,” he says. Sunair is also introducing a new once daily departure between Napier and Tauranga return via Gisborne, further improving connectivity. Sunair’s full schedule is available on www.sunair.co.nz
Wairoa Mayor Craig Little said the Sunair service provides Wairoa people with another option.
“Cyclone Gabrielle highlighted our isolation issues and the vulnerability of the routes into and out of Wairoa. I welcome the fact that Hawke’s Bay Airport and Sunair Aviation are working together to provide this new service for Wairoa people. Any additional connectivity layer must be a win for our community.
“We recognise that due to our small population base, there will be limitations around this service and that the fares will not be the same as regional fares. However, at a time when we have lost so much, it is great to have a new service and option for our district. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in making this happen,” says Mayor Little.
Gisborne Mayor Rehette Stoltz says adding to the direct transport options between Gisborne and Napier will be welcomed by our community.
“We know our roading network is fragile. The direct flights offered by Air New Zealand were very popular and having more choices will contribute to a healthy, productive relationship between us and our Hawke’s Bay neighbours,” says Mayor Stoltz.