The World's First 'Winery Airline' Is Taking to the Skies
Invivo Air in New Zealand is revolutionizing plane wine.
Before the pandemic halted in-flight booze service aboard a majority of airplanes, airplane drinks used to be something many passengers looked forward to. While select airlines are slowly bringing back drink service, others are committed to keeping planes booze-free, at least while masks and other safety mandates are still in place. One airline, however, is kicking things up a notch, calling itself a "winery airline"—a first in the industry.
Invivo, a New Zealand-based winery, announced plans to operate a plane route from Auckland to Queenstown, New Zealand, last week, according to Food & Wine. The ride is roughly 620 miles, and less than two hours long. According to a press release, the first flight will take place "in early 2022" with 34 guests traveling aboard a chartered Saab plane.
The "winery airline" will provide passengers with a day of planned experiences in Queenstown, including a visit to the Central Otago vineyards, which is where Invivo gets the grapes for its Pinot Noirs. Guests will then spend the night at the Hilton Queenstown.
In an effort to help those who really need a break, the winery will be giving booking priority to people who were affected most by the pandemic: "Auckland hospitality and tourism staff, and members of the public who haven't seen their South Island family or friends in 2021 due to the borders." Also, Invivo shareholders.
Co-founder Tim Lightbourne said in a statement that he's hopeful Invivo can show New Zealanders that the country is up and running again and that domestic travel is safe.
"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," he said in a statement. "We are not ruling out further flights to other New Zealand destinations as well."
If you happen to be in New Zealand, you can express interest in taking an Invivo flight here.