Air New Zealand’s plans to cut its Eagle Air regional services to already struggling regions is a hammer blow to Westport, Whakatane and Kaitaia, says Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford.
“The regions of New Zealand are being abandoned by this Government at a time when falling dairy prices mean they need help the most. Now Air New Zealand is twisting the knife. Regional air routes are economic lifelines to these places.
“The loss of an air route to Westport, Kaitaia and Whakatane is cutting them adrift from the national economy.
“It is clear this has been in the pipeline for some time with exorbitant prices for regional fares a softening up exercise.
“The Government is still the majority shareholder of Air New Zealand. It is time John Key sat the Board down and explained to them their duties as a national carrier. That includes providing affordable air routes to regional centres,” says Phil Twyford.