Air New Zealand will increase its direct Hamilton-Christchurch capacity by 11 per cent from the end of this month, offering an extra four direct flights between the two cities each week. The new flights will depart Christchurch for Hamilton on a Tuesday and Saturday with return flights offered from Hamilton direct to Christchurch on a Tuesday and Sunday.
Two additional direct flights will also be offered to and from Wellington from the end of October; one from Hamilton to Wellington on a Monday (departing at 1.55pm) with a new Wellington-Hamilton flight departing on Mondays at 9.45am.
The additional flights will see a further 408 seats each week offered from Hamilton Airport, meaning a total of around 7,000 passengers are likely to pass through the gates each week. The new flights will be serviced by 68-seat ATR aircraft and support the extra Friday flight launched between Hamilton and Wellington in April this year.
Waikato Regional Airport Ltd (WRAL)chief executive Mark Morgan predicted the six new weekly flights would fill quickly and be “easily sustainable”.
“We’re seeing some very competitive fares on direct routes between Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Palmerston North and that’s being reflected in increased passenger numbers across the board,” he said.
“For many travellers, Hamilton is now an affordable, more convenient option than other airports, including Auckland.”
At its annual general meeting last week WRAL announced a strong financial performance, declaring its second consecutive dividend to its five Council shareholders on the back of strong indications of continued growth. It also reported an 11 per cent growth in passenger numbers across the 2017/18 financial year.
Waikato Regional Airport Limited (WRAL) is a council-controlled organisation owned by Hamilton City, Otorohanga, Waipa, Waikato and Matamata-Piako District Councils. The Group includes Hamilton Airport, Hamilton & Waikato Tourism and Titanium Park Limited.