Flights are set to resume at Rotorua Airport from Monday – and people visiting the airport will notice a significant difference with much of the redevelopment now complete.
Air New Zealand will initially operate two return flights a day to Wellington. From May 25, a daily return flight to Auckland will resume, with more flights expected from the end of May as a more comprehensive schedule is introduced.
Chief executive Mark Gibb says at this stage there are no flights between Rotorua and Christchurch, but the schedule is updated often and demand for the sector is strong.
Mr Gibb says travelers and visitors to the airport will see a significant difference - with work almost complete on the redevelopment. This includes the new departures area and the glass walkway to the arrivals gate.
“This redevelopment first started in 2019. The aim was to future-proof the airport to cater for the significant growth in passenger numbers we were experiencing. It was also about ensuring the airport kept up with security and building requirements.
“While Covid-19 has had a significant impact on passenger numbers and changed the landscape of aviation dramatically over the past few months, we know a strong and efficient Rotorua Airport will be instrumental in helping Rotorua’s recovery and rebuild.”
Mr Gibb says staff have worked incredibly hard over the lockdown period. They have provided a lifeline to some people by ensuring crucial medical flights could continue and have also helped transport essential workers to and from the region.
In addition, airport staff have been working towards the near-completion of the redevelopment.
“While our redevelopment was driven by the need to meet demand and regulations, it was also an opportunity to create a facility that our community can be proud of – one which welcomes and farewells passengers with the manaakitanga (hospitality) Rotorua was built on.”
Mr Gibb is reminding those who visit the Airport over the coming weeks to follow the recommendations from Ministry of Health – including keeping distance, staying at home if you are sick, keeping track of your journey and practicing good hygiene.
The Airport is working to put in place a series of measures to ensure the safety of those using the facility.