Invivo launches world’s first winery airline
New Zealand beverage company Invivo & Co has launched Invivo Air, believed to be the world’s first winery airline.
Invivo, which counts Sarah Jessica Parker and Graham Norton as shareholders and collaborators, will make its Invivo Air flight domestically in New Zealand in early 2022 with a chartered 34-seater Swedish built Saab plane.
The maiden voyage will travel from Auckland in the North Island of New Zealand, to Queenstown in the South Island, approximately a two hour flight.
Invivo co-founders Rob Cameron and Tim Lightbourne have launched the winery airline to highlight the re-opening of Auckland’s borders this week after they were closed to the rest of New Zealand for 119 days.
Auckland is home to a third of New Zealand’s five million people. In August the country’s largest city went into lockdown following New Zealand’s first case of COVID-19 community transmission in six months. The lockdown has proved a challenge for domestic tourist operators and has impacted hospitality venues across the country.
Priority for seats will be given to Auckland hospitality and tourism staff who have been affected by the lockdown, members of the public who haven’t seen their South Island family or friends in 2021 due to the borders and Invivo shareholders from its crowdfunding campaigns.
Invivo & Co co-founder Tim Lightbourne said of the border closures: “It’s been a tough period of time, particularly for our bars and restaurant customers in both the North and South Island of New Zealand, heavily reliant on local tourism.
“Running a flight to the South Island is a way that we can show the public the country is open again for domestic tourism, and at the same time support some of those who have had a particularly tough time of it.
“We are not ruling out further flights to other New Zealand destinations as well or even international flights one day. At Invivo Air it’s business class in every glass.”
Guests on the trip will enjoy a 24-hour line-up of special experiences planned by Invivo and partners in Queenstown, including a stay at The Hilton Queenstown, and visits to Invivo’s Central Otago growers.