Norfolk Island restart pushed to 10 June, but 3C remains committed

Norfolk Island restart pushed to 10 June, but 3C remains committed

Air Chathams remains committed to its Norfolk Island service despite a hiccup last week when complications around the legislative process delayed the planned first post-Covid flight from Auckland.

Duane Emeny, chief operating officer at 3C, says the service will now resume 10 June.

‘The positive side is that because of the pent up demand we’ll now be utilising the larger ATR 72 for the service. We will then revert back to the SAAB 340 once a week with the plan to build to two flights a week.’

Emeny says Norfolk was growing in popularity before Covid and the airline was looking at utilising the larger aircraft. ‘We are seeing plenty of interest and activity from travel agencies and wholesalers so we are expecting things to come back fairly quickly – it’s a comparatively safe place to travel and has been Covid free.’

He says competition from Rarotonga and mainland Australia (with low fares being released to the latter) has to be taken into account.

‘But Norfolk is a perfect place for families to get to, it’s not just for the older demographic.’

Meantime, Emeny says the Chatham Islands continues to perform well after ‘going gangbusters’ since May last year. However there is a softening in the autumn and winter, which the airline is planning to address in conjunction with Tourism Chathams and operators there.

‘Obviously there is more demand in summer, but if clients want to see the real Chatham Islands, winter is actually the time to come.’ He says this is the time visitors have more opportunities to mix with locals, see how the fishermen kick into their busy season and avoid bottlenecks at restaurants and hotels.

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