Interislander Schedules Adjusted

17 July 2014 4:04PM

Interislander is adjusting its sailing schedules to ensure it can continue to meet freight and passenger demand over the coming months.

The morning sailings of the Aratere are being replaced by services run by the Arahura and Kaitaki.

Aratere has recently returned from a refit in Singapore, and it has been apparent over the last three days she is down on speed.

Mechanically and electrically,  Aratere is running perfectly and  there are no safety or environmental concerns, however  she is running on her original, smaller propellers, which are less efficient and are having an impact on speed. 

This is causing her to run around 15 minutes late per crossing, which compounds over a day into significant impacts on scheduled services and our responsibilities to customers.

“Our priority is to accommodate all customers utilising all three vessels as effectively as possible.  Aratere will continue to operate the key afternoon freight-critical departures from Wellington, to take advantage of her increased rail capacity.” said KiwiRail Chief Executive Peter Reidy.  

Her 0645 from Wellington and the 1045 return will be cancelled, and the Arahura will complete an extra morning sailing to pick up the rail freight from the 0645.  Road freight and passengers will be accommodated on the Kaitaki’s morning sailing. 

“With three ferries with differing configurations we have a number of options and we’re very confident we can achieve the required schedules,” said Peter Reidy

Mr Reidy said the decision to fit her smaller propellers was necessary, in order to get the vessel back into operation.  The 2011 propellers could not be re-used, in order to eliminate any possibility that they  had contributed to the shaft failure in November last year, and new ones would have taken up to nine months to have made.

This schedule change will remain in place for the next few weeks as Interislander continues to  investigate  options to meet the different requirements of the rail freight, road freight and passenger markets and to accommodate maintenance layups and dry-docking for all three vessels over the next 12 months.

Changes to the sailing schedule from today up to and including Friday 25 July can be summarised as follows:

  • Aratere’s scheduled 0645 Wellington to Picton sailing and her return 1045 Picton to Wellington sailings are cancelled.  All passengers are being rebooked on Kaitaki.
  • From Saturday 19 July, Kaitaki will depart Wellington 15 minutes earlier, at 0830.  Her afternoon sailing from Wellington will depart 30 minutes earlier, at 1315.
  • Aratere’s daily 1445 Wellington departure will now leave at 1400
  • Arahura’s daily 1800 Wellington departure will now leave at 1830

Interislander will continue to update customers with any significant developments regarding the situation.

END

MEDIA CONTACT: Michael Flyger, Senior Communications Advisor, Interislander
04 819 7471 or 027 836 5289
michael.flyger@interislander.co.nz