Air New Zealand's Kapiti flight performance improving

By David Haxton

ATTENDANCE: Part of an audience at a business briefing in Paraparaumu.Photo: Joanna Piatek
ATTENDANCE: Part of an audience at a business briefing in Paraparaumu.Photo: Joanna Piatek

The performance and reliability of Air New Zealand services out of and into Kapiti Coast Airport has improved considerably.

Air New Zealand regional manager Ian Collier said the company accepted the criticism of many people who had said they couldn't rely on the local service.

But the company had been working hard to address the issue and "the performance is improving and we will continue to deliver that," he said at a business briefing in Paraparaumu on Wednesday.

Proof of improvements came from an audience member, Maurice Stilwell, who said, "I use it about every two weeks and the service has improved remarkably for the last six months.

"I'd trust you with my holiday - just about."

And Kapiti councillor Mark Benton said, "I use the service about once every three months and it's bloody brilliant.

"Thanks very much and it's fantastic I don't have have to drive to Wellington."

Mr Collier said Air New Zealand was happy with demand for its Paraparaumu air services though it could be better as it had been "flat for too long" however it was "cutting its lunch".

"So that is a good thing."

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Air New Zealand regional manager Ian Collier addresses a business briefing in Paraparaumu. Photo: Joanna Piatek
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Air New Zealand regional manager Ian Collier addresses a business briefing in Paraparaumu. Photo: Joanna Piatek

Some of the challenges had included pressure from other airports and passengers decisions on their time and how much they were willing to pay.

"Our role is to make sure we're as price competitive as we can be out of this port, and that we give you a schedule that is relative to the demand profile that we see."

He said the challenge for the company and the community was to drive demand for the services.

To grow the air service it was important to get the story and marketing of Kapiti right, firstly nationally and then internationally.

"We have a whole lot of things here that are unique to us so we should put our best foot forward to ensure we're presenting that in the best way that we can, and in a way this community believes in.

"If this community believes in it, then you will sell it.

"I would say we are in a better position now, than we have been for a long time, to be able to deliver that with clarity."

Mr Collier, who noted there had been great work already, said the company "was there to help you promote that".

But it was important not to lose sight of "filling the grandstands and we need to do that on the basis that we're delivering a reliable service".

He felt the district had "momentum" especially with the Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway which presented the district "in a different light".

"It has created a complete shift and I don't think we've seen the consequences of that yet but we certainly will.

"The expressway is elevated and you actually get to see Kapiti, and what it represents, when you come through, and you get curious.

"And the signage [to Kapiti Coast Airport] is great."

- Kapiti News

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