Air Travel Survey

Scott O’Donnell, Chair of the Southland Air New Zealand Partnership working group, said:

“The survey results are unsurprising. We accept Invercargill is some distance from the main trunk route, has a relatively small population, and the relatively close proximity of Queenstown and Dunedin mean some people do choose to drive to these airports.

“Air New Zealand is a commercial airline and is a key partner for the region so we need to work together to seek to ensure Southland is well-connected to other parts of the country and that those connections allow us to easily transit to international flights.

“The airline has signed of a Memorandum of Understanding, which is focused on working collaboratively on real initiatives to stimulate demand, particularly around attracting additional domestic and international visitors to Southland.

“We have been working closely with Air New Zealand on exploring ways of ensuring Southland is more competitive when bidding to host events in the conferences and incentives market.

“There has already been some success with the leisure market and this was demonstrated by Air New Zealand providing 520 Charter seats for this year’s Bluff Oyster Festival.

“The priority is to grow the underlying demand so Air New Zealand can have the confidence to boost additional capacity and flights on routes in and out of Southland.

“Air New Zealand is also assisting with the development of the Southland Story and providing valuable support on our critical market insights to inform our strategic direction for targeted tourism growth.

“Greater regional dispersal represents a significant opportunity for Southland with pressure on key tourist destinations like Queenstown. We will continue to work with Air New Zealand to realise this potential.”