Residents of Norfolk Island will lose air links to New Zealand from May 2017 when Air New Zealand ends nonstop service to Auckland from the Australian external territory.
The airline cited “declining passenger demand from New Zealand” as the reason behind its decision to end the once weekly service between Auckland and Norfolk Island.
“The Auckland-Norfolk Island route is not commercially sustainable so it makes sense to focus our operations out of Australia, where there’s good potential,” Air New Zealand general manager for networks Richard Thomson said in a statement on Friday.
Air New Zealand said it would maintain its once a week flight from Brisbane to Norfolk Island and two times weekly service from Sydney. The frequencies would grow to five flights a week between September and April. All flights are operated with Airbus A320s.
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development pays Air New Zealand a subsidy to fly to Norfolk Island, which is located about 900nm off Australia’s east coast in the Pacific Ocean.
The Star Alliance member commenced service to Norfolk Island in March 2012, taking over the route from Norfolk Air.
In January 2016, the federal government said Air New Zealand had been selected as the preferred provider of air services to Norfolk Island following the latest tender process.
Passengers holding tickets for flights between Auckland and Norfolk Island after the the last flight on May 21 2017 would be offered the option of flying via Sydney or Brisbane, receiving a full refund or using the value of their fare towards another Air New Zealand flight.