Reply To: We are an Adventure Aviation company offering Hot Air Balloon flights to the public. The company closed down in 2016 due to lack of investment. I was a pilot for the company prior to 2010 when the company was thriving. I was also running our own company which was a similar operation in the UK. The original company owner pre 2010 contacted me to look at a re-launch. I have invested $200,000.00 of my own money on new equipment and was just about to start operations before Covid-19, We will operate from Methven, Canterbury which is near Mt Hutt ski area and was hoping to tap into the ski visitors. Can you offer any advice?

Kia Ora, Mr Church – Well done on reaching out and starting to put plans in place. Following on from Andy and Bridgette’s comments, a few thoughts. We will be a domestic market for quite some time, and likely in the short / immediate term, we will be a drive-to market, with air-travel taking some time to gear back up and get people moving economically across the country. Build your business plan on your various domestic markets opening up progressively over the rest of this year, with Christchurch as the obvious starting point for marketing. As the mood has not yet transitioned for consumers to start planning for travel yet, it’s important that any marketing you do is inspirational and emotive, rather than selling. At the right time, start to build a database of potential customers, via social media, starting with the areas closest to you. As Andy says, going too soon may not be advantageous. But once you do, you can entice them with attractive offers and packages to incentivise the trips once the mood shifts. Hard to sit and wait, but solid planning and patience going to be key to getting your balloons back up in the air. Let us know when you have social media going, so we can join the community.