Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.
They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to step up to the plate and stop Air New Zealand’s continuing neglect of the regions.
“The decision to pull the Christchurch-Narita service is another in a series of decisions being made by Air New Zealand which will have a significant and negative economic impact on the regions,” Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson and Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says.
“Christchurch is the second biggest city in New Zealand and is the link to all our South Island communities.
“To say this latest move by our national airline won’t have an effect, as Chief Executive Christopher Luxon has, doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.
“We need to use the recovery of Canterbury post quakes as the basis of a sound, long-term economic recovery. At the heart of that recovery, we need robust infrastructure, including transport. Direct international connections such as the one proposed to be cut play a big part in our freight transport and tourism sectors.
“The Minister must use his shareholding power to discuss the broader implications of decisions such as this. It is an embarrassment that Christchurch has had more loyalty from Singapore airlines than our own airline, but it is a fact.
“The meeting is in mid-April and further comment will be made after that meeting,” Ruth Dyson says.