Christchurch International Airport (CIAL) Chief Executive Jim
Boult has said he understands the reasoning behind Air New
Zealand's decision to cancel or reschedule some of its trans-Tasman
and domestic flights in the wake of the Christchurch
In total, twenty seven trans-Tasman flights have been cancelled
for several weeks from April to July 2011. The flights are between
Christchurch and Sydney, Christchurch and Melbourne, and
Christchurch and Coolangatta.
"While it's disappointing to lose any services, we fully
understand the position the airline is in," said Jim Boult. "Air
New Zealand is also rescheduling many of the remaining trans-Tasman
flights to Christchurch which previously arrived in the late
evening to now arrive in daylight hours. We welcome this move as it
will be helpful for passengers wanting to transit to other centres
and find accommodation outside Christchurch."
Over the next three months, seventy three flights between Sydney
and Christchurch will have new departure and arrival times, as well
as 54 flights from Brisbane and 62 flights from Melbourne.
"While Christchurch Airport is fully functional, the central
city is just beginning its rebuilding work, and the accommodation
capacity of the city has been seriously impacted," said Jim Boult.
"However, there are still over 6000 hotel and motel beds in
Christchurch, and that number will only grow in the coming
"Our focus remains on aeronautical business," he stated. "We
still want to grow the services into Christchurch and to retain all
the flights we have."
Christchurch Airport is currently working with the tourism
industry to develop a new strategy to ensure tourists continue to
fly in and out of Christchurch Airport to travel in the South
Island. The strategy includes having a central bank of
available rooms in Christchurch, as well as transporting travellers
to other centres to be accommodated.