Wednesday 26th January 2011
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Air New Zealand is moving to fly larger aircraft on its Christchurch to Hokitika route.
The route is currently operated by subsidiary Eagle Air's 19-seat Beech 1900D and Jetstream 32 aircraft but from April another subsidiary, Air Nelson, will also fly scheduled return services using its 50-seat Bombardier Q300 aircraft.
New Civil Aviation Authority approval for Hokitika Airport means it can now accept scheduled Q300 flights.
The move will see the route's capacity increase 12.6% to 1200 seats a week.
The Q300 will operate a morning return service on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, with an additional return service on Friday evenings.
Some existing flights had been reorganised to accommodate the new services and spread frequency to meet demand.
There were no plans to offer a Christchurch-Westport flight, said Air New Zealand spokeswoman Andrea Dale.
A six-month Eagle Air trial for flights between Christchurch and Westport was scrapped in December 2009 due to lack of demand.
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