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Enterprise Northland welcomes new air services

Enterprise Northland welcomes new air services

Regional development agency Enterprise Northland has applauded Air New Zealand’s decision to increase its services to two Northland airports.

The airline has announced that on weekdays from December 12, two of the six daily services between Kerikeri and Auckland will be upgraded from the current 19-seat Beech aircraft to 33-seat Saab planes.

The Saab planes will also be used for one daily service to Kerikeri on Saturdays and Sundays.

In addition, new Beechcraft flights are being added to the Whangarei-Auckland service. The changes represent a combined 18 percent increase in capacity, providing more than 620 new seats each week on flights between Northland and Auckland.

Enterprise Northland chief executive officer Brian Roberts said: “This is excellent news for tourism and commerce in Northland and results from a number of years of lobbying by Enterprise Northland for an increase in capacity to all three regional airports.”

“There will be an immediate economic benefit from the increased capacity to Kerikeri, which will improve the attraction of that location for conferences, large groups and special events.”

Northland has a new 500-seat conference centre at Waitangi and the region’s tourism strategy, launched last year, highlighted the potential of the conference market to attract extra business during the low and shoulder seasons.

“The Northland economy has been growing at a rate of more than five percent during the last year,” said Mr Roberts. “Meanwhile, our tourism industry is forecast to be a $1 billion a year business within the next six years.

“Air New Zealand’s commitment supports that growth by bringing Northland another step closer to our major markets.”

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