Global car hire supplier Avis has closed its service outlet at Whanganui Airport on the North Island of New Zealand. The manager of the only airline now serving Whanganui says Avis has shut down the office because Air New Zealand cancelled its flights to the airport.
Duane Emeny is the manager of Air Chathams. He told media reporters the first he knew of the office closure was when Avis informed him by e-mail. He carried on by saying the shutdown e-mail also applied to Avis affiliate Budget Rent A Car’s services.
Mr Emeny noted that Hertz was now the only international car hire firm now offering services at Whanganui Airport. He explained that the lack of choice might deter travellers from choosing Whanganui and they might decide to use Palmerston North Airport as their gateway to the Taranaki and Manawatu-Wanganui regions of the island.
Hamish McDouall is the mayor of Whanganui and he also expressed disappointment that a major firm had pulled out of the town. On an optimistic note, he stated that maybe a local company would step in and start offering car rentals at the airport.
Air Chathams operates daily flights between Whanganui and Auckland Airport. Since the Avis-Budget outlet closed, visitors and residents alike have expressed disbelief that a key gateway to a town of almost 50,000 residents and close to the likes of Egmont National Park, Mt Ruapehu and Mt Taranaki cannot support two major car suppliers.