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Air Napier still flying freight

Regional airline Air Napier hopes the government wage subsidy will help the Hawke's Bay-based company keep staff employed, after it cancelled its 11 weekly chartered flights between Gisborne and Hawke's Bay, on Tuesday.

“At the moment all scheduled flights have stopped but we are still doing freight and helping the freight providers to bring their stuff into Gisborne,” airline chief operating officer Mike Brown said.

“We are also carrying on with some of our health duties for the district health board, in terms of moving doctors and equipment for them when they need it.”

Chief executive Shah Aslam said the airline stopped flights following the announcement of higher Covid-19 Alert Levels on Tuesday.

“The big one for us it to get those 11 flights a week back on as soon as possible after the four week period.”

Mr Aslam hoped to be able to retain all 13 staff members, with the help of the government wage subsidy but there would be maintenance and fuel costs also to consider.