Air New Zealand is axing its Auckland-Kapiti Coast service after Easter, with locals blaming cancellations and delays for undermining confidence in the service.
After flying the daily route for seven years, its last day will be April 3, the airline confirmed on Friday.
Two years ago, the privately owned Kapiti Coast Airport at Paraparaumu lost its Air NZ service to Christchurch.
Kapiti Mayor K Gurunathan says the airline had challenges in delivering a reliable service and that clearly affected travellers' confidence in the service.
"This news will come as a shock to many who use it, and our thoughts are with the locals whose jobs and businesses are most affected by this decision."
However, Air NZ wasn't the only airline capable of running services out of the Kapiti Coast Airport and conversations with other airlines are already happening, he said.
The Kapiti Coast Chamber of Commerce says the loss of flights will leave a large hole in the region's economy.
"We are particularly disappointed with the airline's decision," said chairwoman Heather Hutchings.
"Collectively, we've been very open to doing what we can to build an enduring service, however doing this hasn't always been easy in the face of ongoing cancellations and delays.
"We hear and understand how frustrating this has been for travellers, who have continued to support the flights - especially business commuters."
Otaki MP Nathan Guy says the axing, with three weeks' notice, "stinks" and the airline has deceived the community.
"It's hard to believe that the reason Air New Zealand is giving - a lack of pilots - has just crept up on them.
"I also find it hypocritical of Air New Zealand to have been promoting flights from Kapiti Coast as recently as last weekend when they held an open day at the airport."
Air Chathams had expressed an interest in taking over the route, and a meeting next week aimed to encourage a new carrier, Mr Guy said.