Limited demand over winter and customer feedback about departures and arrivals in the dark have prompted Barrier Air to drop one of its three week-day services between Kaitaia and Auckland. The airline plans to reinstate the third daily service in the summer or if booking numbers pick up before then.

Barrier Air has also increased the baggage allowance on this service to 23kg, up from 15kg.

From 17 August flights will leave Kaitaia at 7am and 2pm from Monday to Friday, arriving in Auckland an hour later.  Return flights will leave Auckland at 10am and 5.30pm, arriving in Kaitaia an hour later.

On Mondays an additional service will leave Auckland at 5.55am, arriving in Kaitaia at 6.45am. And on Fridays there will be a third departure from Kaitaia at 7pm, arriving in Auckland an hour later.

Weekend services remain unchanged, departing Kaitaia at 11am and 6.30pm each day and departing Auckland at 9.30am and 5pm.

On weekdays the aircraft will overnight at Kaitaia, enabling an earlier start and getting passengers into Auckland in good time for the start of the working day and to get onward connections. An afternoon departure from Kaitaia caters for leisure travellers.

“The number of people using the link is relatively good given the time of year, but not good enough to justify three services a day,” said Far North Holdings CEO Andy Nock.

“Barrier Air gave it a good go, however, and at this stage the plan is to bring back the third service once the days get longer and the summer traffic figures start to pick up.”