Can Kiwis Fly? New Zealand's Invivo Air Prepares to Take Flight

The New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc star is spreading its wings

Can Kiwis Fly? New Zealand's Invivo Air Prepares to Take Flight
Invivo & Co. co-founders Rob Cameron (left) and Tim Lightbourne have chartered a Swedish-built Saab 340 for their maiden voyage. (Courtesy of Invivo)
Mar 10, 2022

New Zealand’s Invivo & Co.—makers of celebrity-powered Sauvignon Blancs from Sarah Jessica Parker and Graham Norton, among them one of Wine Spectator’s 2020 Top 100 Wines of the Year—was already soaring before co-founders Tim Lightbourne and Rob Cameron decided it was time to take flight, literally.

Now preparing for takeoff: Invivo Air.

For its maiden voyage, Invivo Air has chartered a 34-seat Saab airplane to take passengers from Auckland on New Zealand's North Island to Queenstown on the South Island. Among the passengers will be members of Auckland’s hospitality and tourism industry, a handful of Invivo shareholders and a few lucky consumers screened from an ongoing application process.

“It’s a great way to highlight [that] New Zealand domestic tourism is open again after the latest 100-plus days of hard lockdown and to support our hospitality sector after they’ve had such an uncertain 24 months,” Lightbourne told Wine Spectator.

Passengers can expect a 24-hour adventure, including a visit to some of Invivo’s grapegrowers in Central Otago. Tickets are expected to cost about $900, and include return flights and a one-night stay at the Hilton Queenstown.

The 34-passenger inaugural flight was initially planned as a one-off, but based on the overwhelming interest—more than 700 people have already registered to fly with Invivo Air, and thousands more have inquired—additional Invivo Air routes are already being considered.

But Lightbourne says they aren’t purchasing a fleet of airplanes just yet. “We [will] need a bigger plane at some point. … Continuous domestic travel wasn’t planned, but due to the response we’ve had locally, the opportunity to fly further routes is now a real possibility.” Future destinations under consideration include Marlborough, Hawkes Bay and Gisborne.

And Lightbourne is optimistic about Invivo Air’s future with international guests. “Once New Zealand also opens up to international travel, then I am sure we will also have international guests wanting to fly on Invivo Air.”

Interested wine-loving New Zealand residents aged 18 and up can register at InvivoAir.com by March 31 for their chance to fly the Kiwi skies—presumably more effectively than an actual kiwi.


Enjoy Unfiltered? The best of Unfiltered's round-up of drinks in pop culture can now be delivered straight to your inbox every other week! Sign up now to receive the Unfiltered e-mail newsletter, featuring the latest scoop on how wine intersects with film, TV, music, sports, politics and more.

Unfiltered oddities Sauvignon Blanc New Zealand

You Might Also Like

‘We Feed People’ Reveals a Hero Who’s Human

‘We Feed People’ Reveals a Hero Who’s Human

Director Ron Howard’s new documentary about chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen …

May 27, 2022
‘Texas Wines’ Celebrates Winemaking in the Lone Star State

‘Texas Wines’ Celebrates Winemaking in the Lone Star State

The documentary short, which will be shown May 21 at Austin’s Screen ATX festival, puts …

May 20, 2022
Australia’s Gold Coast Wine Country Stars in 'A Perfect Pairing'

Australia’s Gold Coast Wine Country Stars in 'A Perfect Pairing'

Victoria Justice plays an L.A. wine exec who isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty in …

May 19, 2022
Formula 1’s Miami Grand Prix Fuels Up with 30,000 Bottles of Ferrari Trento

Formula 1’s Miami Grand Prix Fuels Up with 30,000 Bottles of Ferrari Trento

Heitz Cellar’s Carlton McCoy, Provence’s Minuty and Champagne’s Piper-Heidsieck all bring …

May 12, 2022
Food Fighters: At ‘We Feed People’ Premiere, Hollywood Celebrates Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen

Food Fighters: At ‘We Feed People’ Premiere, Hollywood Celebrates Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen

From Hillary Clinton to Stephen Colbert to Eric Ripert, stars aligned at the New York …

May 5, 2022
Heitz Cellar’s Carlton McCoy Stars in ‘Nomad’

Heitz Cellar’s Carlton McCoy Stars in ‘Nomad’

The globetrotting Master Sommelier's new CNN docuseries is consommé for the wine and food …

Apr 29, 2022