Regional airport flies high

At Hamilton Airport flights are arriving later and leaving earlier.

Hamilton Airport has resisted Covid by bouncing back with more domestic flights using bigger aircraft.

Immediately before the Covid lockdown the airport was operating an average of 155 flights in and out of Hamilton via Air New Zealand.

That number dipped to 124 towards the end of 2020.

But in 2021 the number has risen to 174 flights. Air New Zealand operates 160 a week – and its capacity is up 10 per cent – while new arrival Originair 14.

Capacity is also up – the airport is seeing more 69-seat ATR aircraft than the 50-seat Q300 aircraft.

Waikato Regional Airport Ltd chief executive Mark Morgan said after a very tough year for aviation, 2021 is looking more positive.

Part of that was driven by a healthier domestic tourism market.

“But there’s also been a lot of support from the Waikato business community.’

Domestic flights from Hamilton go south to Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch.

Air New Zealand’s latest schedule shows flights in and out of Hamilton Airport exceed pre-Covid levels and include earlier starts and later finishes.

The 7.35am flight to Wellington has returned and a new 6am flight added.  The 7.20pm return flight from Wellington is back and another Christchurch to Hamilton afternoon return flight has been added.

Originair has also introduced a daily service from Hamilton to Palmerston North, Nelson and return. There is also a new direct service from Hamilton to Nelson on Friday evening.

“We are seeing a 24 per cent increase in flights between Hamilton and Christchurch and a 14 per cent increase on Wellington routes.  That is exceptional growth in any year, let alone a year when we are battling a pandemic and ongoing uncertainty,” Mark Morgan said.

Hamilton and Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson said it has been pleasing to see the strong rebound and increased capacity in domestic airline connectivity for the Waikato region over the past few months.

“While we acknowledge that some parts of our region are still feeling the impact of international border closures, we are pleased with the increased demand for leisure and business travel for Hamilton, including conferences, meetings and events.

“Kiwis are answering the call to travel Aotearoa New Zealand more than ever before and the strong visitor numbers returning into Hamilton is extremely beneficial for our sector and community.”

More Recent News

Rural post issue in court

New Zealand Post is facing a High Court challenge from a Waipā couple over what they say is an attempt to terminate their mail delivery contract. Danielle (Danny) and Ian Kennedy are familiar to rural…

Council’s indoor art collection reduced

Waipā District Council is streamlining its public art collection. Today’s Strategic Planning and Policy Committee agreed staff should reduce council’s 104-piece indoor art collection down to 70 works, disposing of 34 items. Museum and heritage…

Gambling policy unchanged

Pokies in Waipā will continue to be capped at 232 machines and transferred if the operator moves to a new venue. Council’s Strategic Planning and Policy committee confirmed today the 2019 Gambling Policy will be…

Celebration book launch

The half century story of how a small Te Awamutu music group grew to become one of the jewels in Waipā’s crown has been celebrated at a concert in the town. The ‘50th Celebration Concert’…