A Nelson-based commuter airline is re-introducing a Cook Strait service to its schedule.
Originair has announced today it is adding the Nelson-Wellington route to its schedule in response to passenger demand.
The airline, established in 2015, once flew the route but pulled out with the arrival of Jetstar, which no longer flies into Nelson.
Originair founder and chief executive Robert Inglis said the new service will initially be limited to 10 flights per week, concentrating on peak demand times.
Inglis is a veteran of the commuter airline industry and is the co-founder of Air Nelson, which became an Air New Zealand link subsidiary.
He said customers had been asking the airline to consider a Nelson-Wellington route and Originair was pleased to be able to respond to that interest.
“We’re not offering an extensive schedule at the outset but we hope that it will provide extra capacity at times that are most useful to travellers on that route.”
Inglis said it will offer the service using its current two aircraft, but the airline was looking to add a 30-seat aeroplane to its fleet.
“We’ve only had the two Jetstreams available to us and we’re looking at options, both in terms of the current type and a larger guage.”
He said that at the moment the airline’s focus was on the British Aerospace Jetstream type.
“We haven’t made that decision yet but it’s part of an investigation we’re doing and we’ll come to a view on it shortly.”
The announcement followed consistent and encouraging demand for seats on the airline’s newly-resumed Nelson-Palmerston North service.
“We are very happy with the way that the reintroduction of our Palmerston North service has been going. Demand has been solid and that gives us additional confidence to grow our service offering,” Inglis said.
Originair currently has services from Nelson to Palmerston North, New Plymouth and Napier.
Flights on the Nelson-Wellington route will begin on the 14 February.
This article was originally published on RNZ and re-published with permission.