Flights between Nelson and Blenheim will continue for the full seven-week State Highway 6 closure, it was announced today.

“It’s good news that there has been sufficient demand to enable Originair to commit to the service for the full seven weeks,” says Nelson Mayor Nick Smith.  

“This is about making the best of a bad situation. The closure of State Highway 6 for seven weeks from tomorrow to enable major repairs after the devastating weather event in August affects thousands of travellers every day. The provision of this air service provides an option of a 20-minute flight instead of a two hour forty-minute drive. It is particularly important for minimising the disruption to important public services like health.”

“There was uncertainty about the level of demand and so the service was initially to be trialed for two weeks. Today’s announcement gives certainty that the service will be operating for the full closure period.  

Mayor Nick repeated his thanks to Originair, both Nelson and Marlborough airports and Te Whatu Ora Nelson Marlborough for supporting the air service.  

Originair CEO Rob Inglis says ticket sales were strong, and enough to ensure the route was economically viable. 

“It takes a lot to set up a flight service and my team have managed to move quickly at a time of need for Nelson and Blenheim. Thanks to everyone who has booked a flight!” 

Originair CFO Brendon Grundy says the flights were made possible with support from the Mayoral Relief Fund, the help of both airport companies and Nelson/Marlborough hospitals. 

“This support, added onto the public seat reservations we had in the first week, has given us the confidence to extend the service. We hope it can assist travellers during a difficult time.” 

The schedule is as follows:  

  • Leave Nelson: 7.40am – Arrive Blenheim: 8.10am  
  • Leave Blenheim: 8.40am – Arrive Nelson: 9.10am  
  • Leave Nelson: 4.00pm – Arrive Blenheim: 4.30pm  
  • Leave Blenheim: 5.00pm – Arrive Nelson: 5.30pm  

Tickets are still available throughout the duration of the seven-week closure. The standard one-way fare will be $89 or $99 for a flexifare (changeable and refundable).  

Bookings can be made online at