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Flight plan will boost regional economy

Flight plan will boost regional economy

The announcement of an air service between Masterton and Auckland, to replace cancelled Air New Zealand services, is an excellent regional initiative and a boost to the Wairarapa economy says the New Zealand Airports Association (NZ Airports).

Masterton District Council has supported a proposal by Vincent Aviation to operate return flights each weekday with a Saab 340 aircraft. Flights are expected to commence mid-November. Air Chathams had also made a proposal.

“Regular air services are vital for business, for access to medical services, and to maintain social linkages” said Kevin Ward, chief executive of NZ Airports.

“In a study last year for NZ Airports, Masterton Airport was shown to generate added value to the Wairarapa economy of $6.5 million, rising to $35 million when wider economic linkages are taken into account. 100 jobs were supported by the airport at that time” said Mr Ward. “Most of the benefits come from having regular airline links, so the new service will ensure a key foundation stone for the regional economy is restored.”

Mr Ward also noted that other regions will follow the re-introduction of the service with interest.

“The withdrawal of Eagle Airways from Masterton is not an isolated case. The Air New Zealand Group has some other domestic destinations under review, and those towns and regions will look closely at what has been achieved by Masterton District Council and local supporters” he said.

ENDS

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