Air NZ culls regional flights to Masterton, Wanganui while boosting Rotorua
Air New Zealand is cutting some of its poorly-supported regional services to Wanganui and Masterton while boosting capacity on the tourist route between Auckland and Rotorua.
Masterton will lose its Auckland service from February 2014 and the three weekly Taupo-Wanganui-Wellington service will drop its Wanganui leg from December. A twice weekly Wellington-Wanganui flight will also go.
Auckland-Rotorua capacity will be boosted 30% by introducing a larger Bombardier Q300 aircraft on to the route. The 50-seat Q300 will replace the 19-seat Beech 1900D on weekday morning services.
Air New Zealand says the recent introduction of new ATR72-600 aircraft into the domestic fleet has enabled it to free up Q300 capacity for other services.
The airline says the operating advantages of using the Q300 to Rotorua over the smaller Beech 1900Ds – which are also used on the Auckland-Masterton service – will result in more seats being available at the lead-in fare level of $79 one-way.