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Global’s first ‘vineyard airline’ to release in New Zealand

(CNN) — There is been a lot debate about alcohol and flying up to now few years, with some airways banning booze onboard flights altogether.

On the other hand, a New Zealand wine corporate is taking issues in a somewhat other route via launching the “global’s first vineyard airline.”

Invivo will start working a course from the North Island of Auckland to Queenstown, within the South Island later this 12 months, with its debut flight starting up inside the following few months.

Co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Robin Cameron have chartered a 34-seater Swedish-built Saab aircraft for the maiden adventure of Invivo Air, proving “trade elegance in each and every glass.”

Maiden voyage

Whilst the length of the flight is round two hours, all the revel in will final 24-hours, with a discuss with to Invivo’s Central Otago growers and a keep at The Hilton Queenstown incorporated.

“Clearly, there shall be some complimentary wines served on board, in addition to some non-alcoholic beverages,” says Lightbourne.

“There will be a variety of Invivo wines to be had and possibly Robin and I can be serving it to the visitors at the flight. It will have to be numerous a laugh.”

Lightbourne and Cameron made up our minds to release Invivo Air in a bid to have a good time the reopening of Auckland’s borders in December in addition to advertise home tourism in New Zealand.

The pair additionally need to strengthen the ones running in Auckland’s hospitality sector, which used to be hit badly right through the 119-day lockdown installed position after a Covid-19 outbreak within the town.

Part of the seats at the maiden flight shall be complimentary, with precedence given to these hospitality and tourism workforce in Auckland who have been impacted via the lockdown, in addition to citizens who have been not able to discuss with family members positioned in New Zealand’s South Island because of the border closures.

“Numerous the eating places had been close in Auckland for all that point,” explains Lightbourne. “So it is been beautiful laborious. We would love to praise a few of the ones hospitality workforce with a flight all the way down to Queenstown, which is one in every of our primary tourism locations.”

Home tourism spice up

Invivo Air's maiden journey will be a 24-hour experience that includes a stay at The Hilton Queenstown.

Invivo Air’s maiden adventure shall be a 24-hour revel in that features a keep at The Hilton Queenstown.

Hilton Queenstown Lodge & Spa

He additionally hopes the flights will supply a spice up to the massively standard Queenstown, which drew round 3 million guests a 12 months pre-pandemic, with over 60% the ones from in another country.

On the other hand, the lodge the city, positioned in New Zealand’s Otago area, “has been doing it difficult” because of the loss of global vacationers, in line with Lightbourne.

Most likely unsurprisingly, the Invivo workforce have discovered the method of putting in an airline from scratch reasonably difficult to mention the least.

“We’ve got needed to communicate to a couple folks within the business concerning the goings on and the demanding situations and all that kind of stuff,” admits Lightbourne.

“It is a trial for us. However the comments has been sure. There were 1000’s of folks registering. We can have bought out the flight 100 occasions over.”

Whilst the debut flight is certainly a “trial,” Lightbourne says the workforce plan to operating common flights at the Auckland to Queenstown course, and hope so as to add new locations sooner or later.

“We have now vineyards in Marlborough, which may be the South Island, ” he provides. “And within the North Island, we have now some within the Hawke’s Bay area and Gisborne. We would like to get some flights out that means later in this 12 months, optimistically.”

Based in 2008, Invivo produces wine from New Zealand, whilst additionally running in partnership with growers around the globe to make wine from the highest generating areas, together with the Prosecco area of Veneto, Italy.

The Invivo vineyard is based totally in Te Kauwhata, positioned within the Waikato area, simply south of Auckland.

Superstar passengers?

New Zealanders Rob Cameron and Tim Lightbourne co-founded Invivo in 2008.

New Zealanders Rob Cameron and Tim Lightbourne co-founded Invivo in 2008.


Invivo’s more than a few shareholders and collaborators come with “And Simply Like That…” celebrity Sarah Jessica Parker and British TV presenter Graham Norton, and Lightbourne hints that we might see some of the stars onboard an Invivo Air flight in the future.

“Each Graham and Sarah Jessica are truly willing to get to New Zealand,” he provides. “So they might doubtlessly be some of the respectable visitors on a flight sooner or later needless to say.”

New Zealand has been massively praised for its reaction to Covid-19, and instances have remained remarkably low because of its strict border restrictions and quarantine measures — there were simply over 15,000 recorded infections within the vacation spot up to now.

On the other hand, the rustic has been successfully closed to the remainder of the arena for all the pandemic, except for a short lived quarantine-free commute bubble with Australia that used to be halted in July 2021.

Invivo co-founders Rob Cameron and Tim Lightbourne with shareholder Sarah Jessica Parker.

Invivo co-founders Rob Cameron and Tim Lightbourne with shareholder Sarah Jessica Parker.


This has proved extremely difficult for plenty of, specifically companies that depend on global tourism, in addition to those that’ve been separated from members of the family.

“We all know it is for the better just right,” says Lightbourne. “However having mentioned that, we are truly willing to get again to commonplace and open up the borders to global commute. It is been just about two years.”

Invivo Air passengers are required to agree to all appropriate laws and rules, together with appearing a sound vaccine move prior to boarding the flight.

Even if 50% of the seats at the debut flight shall be to be had to buy, seat costs are but to be decided.

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