Wānaka to Christchurch direct service begins

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Wānaka to Christchurch sounds like a great idea 

The first direct flight between Wānaka and Christchurch took off from Wanaka Airport this morning.

Colin Keel, Chief Executive of Queenstown Airport Corporation said the start of the service is a great milestone for Wanaka Airport. “We are pleased to have been working together with Sounds Air on their proposal to introduce scheduled services between Wānaka and Christchurch.  It has also been great to see the positive local community response to the introduction of the service.”  

Sounds Air CEO Andrew Crawford said “We are planning to fly every day of the week with 12 return flights a week at this stage, using our turbo-prop Pilatus PC12 aircraft. This aircraft is ideal for an airport like Wānaka and requires no additional infrastructure to be built there.  It has a comfortable, pressurised cabin that will be able to take up to nine passengers at a time on the 45-minute journey between Wānaka and Christchurch airports”

“The regional connectivity that this flight service brings will enable locals to travel more easily, support domestic tourism, aid local business recovery and improve access to health services,” Mr Crawford said.

Ticket prices range from $159 to $279, on a 3-tier ticketing system where the price increases with the flexibility of the ticket. Sounds Air reports that ticket sales are going well.

Scheduled services have not operated at Wānaka Airport since 2013.  The population of Wānaka and the Upper Clutha increased by 39% between 2013 and 2019.