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Air NZ cancels, reschedules Christchurch trans-Tasman flights

Wednesday 16th March 2011

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Air New Zealand has cancelled a total of 28 trans-Tasman flights through Christchurch between April and July, and is rescheduling many other services from the airport.

During the next three months, 73 flights between Sydney and Christchurch would have new departure and arrival times, as well as 54 flights from Brisbane and 62 from Melbourne, the airport said today.

Christchurch International Airport chief executive Jim Boult said he understood the reasoning behind Air New Zealand's decision to cancel or reschedule some trans-Tasman flights and reschedule some domestic flights.

Under the rescheduling arrangements during the next three months, many trans-Tasman flights which previously arrived in the late evening would now arrive in daylight hours.

The airport welcomed that move as it would be helpful for passengers wanting to transit to other centres and find accommodation outside Christchurch, Boult said.

"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.

"However, there are still 6000 hotel and motel beds in Christchurch, and that number will only grow in the coming months," Boult said.

Christchurch Airport was working with the tourism industry to develop a strategy to ensure tourists continued to fly in and out of Christchurch to travel in the South Island.

The strategy included having a bank of available rooms in Christchurch, as well as transporting travellers to other centres to be accommodated.

Yesterday, Air New Zealand said it no longer expected to have a profitable second half of its financial year, with the impact of the Christchurch earthquake more severe than earlier expected, while revenue would also be hit by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.



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