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Air New Zealand increases Nelson capacity

Air New Zealand increases capacity to/from Nelson to support extra demand and employs more crew

Air New Zealand Link carrier, Air Nelson will provide a total of 4,600 extra seats on selected flights to/from Nelson over the September / October school holiday period to support the extra demand created by the collapse of Origin Pacific’s passenger services.

The majority of that additional capacity, available 18 September – 15 October, will be on the Nelson-Wellington route (2,500 seats) with 1,500 extra seats for Nelson- Christchurch and 600 extra seats Nelson-Auckland.

Air Nelson General Manager John Hambleton said the additional capacity for the period was gained through the introduction and re-scheduling of aircraft.

“We have up-gauged some services from the 33 seat Saab aircraft to the new 50 seat Q300 aircraft being progressively introduced to our fleet and are fully utilising the existing Saab fleet.”

Air Nelson is also looking ahead to more permanent capacity increases by mid-November, when it will have further Q300 capacity in place.

“By 13 November we will have two additional Q300 following the arrival of the 10th and 11th new aircraft from the manufacturer. This factor, plus the retention of a Saab in the fleet, will allow increased flying and provide a total of 3,350 more seats per week to/from Nelson,” said Mr Hambleton.

Around half of this extra capacity will be provided on the Nelson – Christchurch route, with the balance available Nelson – Wellington and Nelson - Auckland.

Air Nelson is also employing more staff for its increased operations and this is “good news for the local economy”, says Mr Hambleton.

“We are currently recruiting ten pilots and five flight attendants and some we have interviewed were formerly employed by Origin Pacific.”

Air Nelson is acquiring a total of 17 new Q300 turbo-prop aircraft to ultimately replace its fleet of Saab 340A aircraft and last month marked the halfway point in the Q300 delivery programme.


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