Otaki MP Nathan Guy says Air New Zealand has robbed the Kapiti community by withdrawing its Auckland to Kapiti Coast air service, with just three weeks’ notice.
“The route has proved popular and profitable for the national carrier. It’s hard to believe that the reason Air New Zealand is giving – a lack of pilots – has just crept up on them. It stinks,” Mr Guy says.
“I also find it hypocritical of Air New Zealand to have been promoting flights from Kapiti Coast as recently as last weekend when they held an open day at the airport. They have deceived the community.”
Mr Guy says Air New Zealand is displaying a lack of foresight.
“Our region is benefiting hugely by the massive investment taking place with the construction of Transmission Gully and the Kapiti Expressways. It’s making us one of the fastest growing regions in the country.
“It is also disappointing that Air New Zealand has given the community insufficient time to come up with another option, so a similar service could continue.”
Mr Guy is calling a meeting of representatives from the Kapiti Coast District Council, Air Chathams, Todd Property Group and the Kapiti Chamber of Commerce next week.
“The meeting aims to encourage a new carrier to take on the service and Air Chathams has already expressed an interest to me in doing so, but they won’t be able to deliver a service in just three weeks.
“I’ll certainly be doing all I can by working with interested groups to fight the decision.”
Mr Guy successfully lobbied to get Air New Zealand to begin flights from Kapiti Coast in 2011.
“Air New Zealand has invested in the service and it is now performing well, which makes this knee-jerk decision all the more disappointing for regular users and our community.”