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‘Business Class in Every Glass’: World’s 1st Winery Airline Launches


Invivo is launching an airline, Air Invivo, which will make its maiden flight from Auckland to Queenstown to celebrate the reopening of Auckland’s borders. (Photo: Air Invivo)

New Zealand wine company Invivo, which announced last month the inclusion of NFTs in wine releases from its collaborators and shareholders Sarah Jessica Parker and Graham Norton, continued its innovative streak with the news that it is launching what is believed to be world’s first winery airline, according to The Shout.

Invivo Air will make its first flight domestically in early 2022, traveling from Auckland to Queenstown, about a two-hour flight from New Zealand’s North Island to its south one.

Invivo co-founders Rob Cameron and Tim Lightbourne launched the airline to highlight the reopening of Auckland’s borders this week after they were closed to the rest of the country for 119 days due to COVID-19.

Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, went into lockdown in August after recording New Zealand’s first case of COVID-19 community transmission in six months. The lockdown hurt the tourism and hospitality businesses.

“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,” said Invivo co-founder Tim Lightbourne.

Priority for seats on the flight 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 lockdown and Invivo shareholders from its crowdfunding campaigns, according to The Shout.

“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,” Lightbourne said. “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 be part of a 24-hour run 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.

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David Morrow is the managing editor of Whiskey Raiders and has been with the company since September 2021. David has worked in journalism since 2015 and has had bylines at Sports Illustrated, Def Pen, the Des Moines Register and the Quad City Times. David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Saint Louis University and a Master of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. When he’s not tasting the newest exciting whiskey releases, David enjoys spending time with his wife and dog, watching sports and traveling.