Abby is Nelson Airport’s millionth customer

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The last thing Abby Nalder expected when she stepped off her flight from Auckland was to be surrounded by cheering crowds.

But that is exactly what the 15-year-old Golden Bay local got when she became the Nelson Airport’s millionth customer in a year.

“I was a bit overwhelmed when I walked in.”

Abby had just returned from a family trip to Auckland and was presented with a prize pack – which included a bouquet of flowers and a chocolate cake. She will also be planning another trip with her mother to Wellington as return flights for two were also included in the prize.

“It feels pretty cool to be the millionth customer, it’s pretty exciting.”

Nelson Airport chief executive Rob Evans has been a man on a mission in reaching the goal of a million passengers in a year and trying to make Nelson the best regional airport in New Zealand.

“This milestone is of huge significance to us,” he says. “The continued exemplary service from our airline partners has created an environment of competition and choice that travellers have been lapping up.”

He says this growth re-enforces the need for the current Nelson Airport redevelopment. The first piles for the new Nelson Airport Terminal were put in place on Tuesday.

“We are excited that our customers will get to experience a state of the art Nelson Airport Terminal opening in early 2019.”

In the meantime, Abby will enjoy her trip to Wellington but she had to pass on the chocolate cake as she is gluten free.