Origin back flying in Nelson

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Origin is back flying, albeit under a slightly different name.

This morning Originair announced it would be flying from Nelson to Wellington and Palmerston North seven days a week with the first flights to Palmerston North starting in August. A Nelson – Wellington return route will start on 10 September this year.

The news comes a week after Jetstar announced it was considering flying to Nelson by December and as Kiwi Regional Airlines finalises plans to start flying later this year.

In November 2014, Air New Zealand announced it would cease flying some regional routes after April this year, including Nelson – Palmerston North return.  To fill the void, airline operator Robert Inglis has established Originair, after having undertaken an intensive due diligence process since the end of last year into the Nelson – Palmerston North route.

Inglis was the founder of Air Nelson, Origin Pacific Airways and an aircraft leasing company, Inglis Aircraft Ltd. Origin Pacific went under in 2006.

Originair’s head office has opened this week in central Nelson and the airline will employ up to 20 staff in Nelson and Palmerston North by take-off. The new Originair fleet will consist of two 19-seat Jetstreams built by British Aerospace.

“As a small regional airline we are really pleased to be able to offer the direct flights that the Nelson and Manawatu regions have said they need and appreciate,” says Inglis. “We are also pleased to offer travellers to and from Wellington more peak time flights to the capital.

“We are experienced airline operators and have the aircraft and systems to service these routes,” he says. “We have been working hard since December to be ready to fly between Nelson and Palmerston North by 12 August 2015.

“Our twin-turbo prop pressurized 19-seater planes, operated with a two pilot crew, are the right gauge for these links and are aircraft that regional passengers are used to flying in.  Because of this, we believe the transition to our service from Air New Zealand’s former service will be easy for people.”

The CEO of Nelson airport Rob Evans says the establishment of a new airline is another great news story for Nelson.

“Having Originair here will be fantastic for Nelson by offering more availability for inbound and outbound passengers on a direct route to Palmerston North supporting both business and leisure travellers,” Evans says. “There are some great synergies between both catchment regions to really take advantage of what’s on offer. More choice for travellers to Wellington will also be welcomed by Nelsonians.

“Robert Inglis is a true aviation entrepreneur with wonderful vision and dedication in a very volatile industry,” he says.

Mr Inglis says that due to the relatively small scale of the proposed operation he has collaborated with two companies from the Freightways Limited Group, Air Freight NZ Ltd (Air Freight) and Fieldair Engineering Ltd (Fieldair), to carry out flight operations and fleet maintenance respectively.  Both Air Freight and Fieldair have decades of relevant aviation experience and will provide the airline with a high quality service and allow Originair’s core team to focus on its marketing and customer service.

“Our website and reservation system is already live so people can book their flights today at www.Originair.nz,” Inglis says.