Buller district mayor Garry Howard said the loss of the Air New Zealand service was disappointing, but was unable to comment further until later today as he was in meetings.

Air New Zealand had offered two direct flights between Westport and Wellington on weekdays, and one flight each way on Sundays, through its Eagle Air service.

Westport's closest Airports were now at Hokitika 140 kilometres south of Westport or Nelson, which was 222km away. 
Others took to social media to express their disappointment.

Michelle L wrote on Twitter that the loss of the Westport service was a huge blow to the town.
Air NZ drove a small Airline out of business a few years ago, now they dumps us. SHAME ON THEM, she said. 

Steve said that his unlikely dream of flying to Westport via Grabaseat on a whim was now over. 

Bathurst Resources Ltd general manager Hamish Bohannan said the announcement was disappointing, but it's a sign of the times. 

The company was ramping up work on its open cast coal mining operation on the Denniston Plateau, 25km north of Westport.

Bohannan said most of Bathurst's employees lived in Westport and the loss of the service made it "harder to get out of the town. 

Our team are West Coasters. We have got a very small corporate office here in Wellington.

The corporate team would now have to fly to Nelson and drive to the West Coast for meetings, but Bohannan said that was something he did quite a bit anyway. 

Westport Motels manager Tania Lind said losing the passenger service at Westport Airport would not affect her business much as most visitors travelled by car.

Some people tend to come here and then fly out of Westport because this could be their last stop off before the North Island.

Lind said the service was used more by locals, but it was too expensive for many people, with one way Flights usually costing about $300.

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Mohini Porwal [ B Sc]
Trainee News Editor
New Zealand Aviation News Editor
WWW.New Zealand-Aviation-News.blogspot.com






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