20 January 2021

New Zealand's Newest Airliner



From tourist flier, to airliner... entering service today with Barrier Air was Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-SLA - thanks for having an aptly registered aircraft. The Caravan, leased from Queenstown-based tourist operator True South is being based at North Shore and will operate Barrier Airs expanded 'scheduled service between North Shore and Great Barrier Island which began today. The airline and aircraft will operated ten services each week as well as being used on the Auckland-Great Barrier Island services as needs dictate.

At Great Barrier Island's Claris airport today the new Caravan was causing a lot of comment which was accompanied by a lot of positive comment about the airline. Meanwhile Barrier Air is having a ripper summer with lots of additional flights. This Friday the airline will operate 19 Auckland-Great Barrier Island services as well the two North Shore services, a record for the company.

ZK-SLA's introduction to the Barrier Air fleet was under the command of Josh Grace who operated the first flights, GB 203 from North Shore to Great Barrier Island and the return flight GB 204.

Cessna 208B with Barrier Air titles at Claris airport on Great Barrier Island on 20 January 2021

 

18 January 2021

First Photos for the Year

I finally took my first photos for 2021 on the 16th of January at Hamilton...

Central Helicopters' Robinson R44 ZK-HUB

Super Air's PAC Cresco ZK-LTT

My first photo of Cessna 425 N425HB

Aerologistic Survey's Cessna 404 Titan VH-AZU 

 

17 January 2021

Sounds Air Back to Where It Was

 



Sounds Air seems to be continuing to rebuild its services after the challenges of 2020. The airline was struck quite hard by Covid but has a loyal base of passengers and a commitment to the areas it serves. According to the airline's reservations systems the frequency of flights is returning to pre-Covid levels as the year starts up after the summer break , namely...

Wellington to Blenheim - 39 per flights week

Wellington to Nelson - 19 flights per week

Wellington to Picton - 19 flights per week

Wellington to Taupo - 13 flights per week

Wellington to Westport - 14 flights per week

Blenheim to Christchurch - 18 flights per week

Blenheim to Paraparaumu - 5 flights per week

Christchurch to Wanaka - 10 flights per week

Nelson to Paraparaumu - 4 flights per week

13 January 2021

Expanding North Shore schedule



Barrier Air have announced today that they are making a major frequency increase in their Great Barrier Island-North Shore service. The airline will operate two return flights to the North Shore - Great Barrier Island route daily, except on Tuesdays and Saturdays (but these will operate on demand), The expanded schedule starts on the 20th of January. Flights leave North Shore at 9.00am and 12 noon and Great Barrier Island at 10.50am and 4.00pm for the 30 minute flight. The new schedule sees a Caravan overnighting at North Shore.

To facilitate the new flights Barrier Air has leased an additional Cessna Grand Caravan to help out over the busy summer period! Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SLA comes from True South in Queenstown and is equipped with air conditioning, leather seats and the latest safety equipment including weather radar and pilot synthetic vision. This aircraft will also help on Barrier Air's Auckland-Great Barrier Island  route! 

Barrier Air's new CEO, Grant Bacon, told 3rd Level New Zealand, "We are essentially at capacity right now for Auckland and with only doing 3 flights a week at North Shore there is plenty of room for growth. The demand for North Shore significantly drops off in winter so we will schedule it until the end of April and review it but will certainly at least continue our existing winter schedule using our existing fleet after April" 

To celebrate the expanded service Barrier Air has scheduled plenty of introductory special fares from $49.00... Book now at www.barrierair.kiwi or speak to our team on 0800 900 600

Coming north, True South's Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-SLA at Queenstown

11 January 2021

Major Rework #8 - NAC @ Kaikohe

 During the last few months I have been PDFing my airline profiles... With some of them I have done some major reworks. For those interested in my airline histories you might want to check out the updated versions. I will post links over the next few days... 





10 January 2021

The Nelson Aero Club's West Coast Newspaper Run

 
Nelson Aero Club


The Nelson Aero Club was formed on 28 September 1932 and flew from what is now Saxton Field before moving to the current airport site in the late 1930’s. 

The Aero Club's first move into twin-engined charter work was with the purchase of Miles M65 Gemini 1A ZK-AUA in February 1952. This was the first of the classic aircraft the Club operated. The Gemini had previously been operated by Northwest Airlines Ltd on an air service between Nelson and Takaka. It was with the Club until May 1954. The Gemini was replaced by De Havilland DH.84 Dragon ZK-AXI and this was with the Club for 10 years from  May 1954 to May 1964. By this time the Club had acquired De Havilland DH.89B Dominie ZK-AKU which was added to the fleet in June 1963. 

The de Havilland twins, de Havilland Dragon ZK-AXI at Nelson

and de Havilland DH89B Dominie ZK-AKU.

In February 1966 the Aero Club took delivery of a four year old Piper PA23-160 Apache ZK-CHU which had logged only 1800 hours of flying. The Apache had been previously owned by the Perano whaling company in the Tory Channel and was used for whale-spotting before the commercial whaling industry in New Zealand ended in 1964. The Apache's purchase was financed by the sale of Dominie ZK-AKU and Piper Tripacer ZK-BSD. The aircraft was used for charter and ambulance work. It did, however, also airline service being leased to Golden Coast Airlines who used it on their air services from Nelson north to New Plymouth and Hamilton and south to Karamea, Westport and Greymouth.

The new Piper Apache with, from left, Mr A W Hellyer, the club president, Mr M Dunn, chief flying instructor, and Mr A J Bradshaw who flew the plane from Blenheim.

Purchased by the Nelson Aero Club, Piper Apache ZK-CHU seen here at Omaka. 


With the demise of Golden Coast Airlines in September 1970 the Nelson Aero Club immediately took over the newspaper service from Nelson to Karamea, Westport and Greymouth and in October 1972 received their own non-scheduled licence. This service carried the Nelson Evening Mail to the West Coast towns and also the Westport News, which was printed in Nelson, to Karamea and Westport. This was the first non-scheduled service the Nelson Aero Club had operated in its 30 year history. 

Cessna 172E ZK-CGB, Cessna 180 BGO, and Piper Apache ZK-CHU were all used on the air service. The Nelson Evening Mail of the 12th of October 1970 reported the Nelson Aero Club’s managing secretary, Mr N M McLaren saying, “This licence enables us to advertise flight times for the route of our daily passenger service from Nelson to Karamea, Westport and Greymouth. The club has now in effect formed a small airline and we hope people will support it since it is for them. We feel the public should not be left out on a limb without an air service to and from Nelson and the West Coast, especially as some of the places on our flight route are rather isolated.” Golden Coast Airlines (1965) operated a similar service from Nelson until last month, when, because of financial troubles went into abeyance pending takeover negotiations with Capital Air Services Ltd of Wellington. One of Golden Coast’s two pilots, Alan Hackston, will be the principal pilot in the new airline. A well-known and popular figure on the West Coast flight route, he flew with Golden Coast for many years. 

The Nelson Aero Club's "airline" fleet... Piper Apache ZK-CHU being loaded with newspapers at Nelson in January 1972...

...Cessna 180 ZK-BGO at Nelson...

...and Cessna 172 ZK-CGB at Nelson with what the C-Cat Instructor behind supervising tarmac safety


The Nelson Aero Club service operated for almost two years, but during that time it appears that the sector between Westport and Greymouth was cut. Subsidising the air service was a major expense for the Nelson Evening Mail and eventually the newspaper entered into a contract with NAC to fly the newspapers.

The final service was flown on the 18th of August 1972 with the last service being flown in Cessna 172 ZK-CGB by Bryce Nairn. On the last flight was the managing director of “The Mail,” Mr R D Lucas. In the Nelson Evening Mail the next day Mr Lucas said yesterday’s flight was typical of the safe and reliable service to the coast which had been given over the years. The aircraft had not only carried the papers to Westport but had dropped off a passenger at Karamea, had then gone on to take an air ambulance case from Westport to Hokitika and had returned to Karamea after refuelling at Greymouth. 

Loading the final flight on 18 August 1972 is senior club instructor, Mr Bryce Nairn, is at the tail end of a “human chain” consisting of the president of the New Zealand Airwomen’s Association, Mrs Thelma Bradshaw, and another Nelson Aero Club instructor, Mr Max Sceats. Mrs Bradshaw has been assisting part-time with club instructing. Photo : Nelson Evening Mail

Mr Nairn (left) at the controls of the Cessna 172 with Mr Lucas in the front passenger seat. At the rear is a passenger, Miss Thompson. Photo : Nelson Evening Mail

The cessation of the service marked the end of a scheduled air service to Karamea.

From the 20th of August 1972 NAC took over flying the newspapers from Nelson to Westport. Later the contract changed to Capital Air Services and later still Bryce Nairn was to again pick up the newspaper run with his own company, Nairn Air.

So ended Nelson Aero Club's only regular air service. Two months later, in October 1972, the Piper Apache ZK-CHU was sold. 

09 January 2021

Major Rework #7 - Geyserland Airways

During the last few months I have been PDFing my airline profiles... With some of them I have done some major reworks. For those interested in my airline histories you might want to check out the updated versions. I will post links over the next few days... 




08 January 2021

Major Rework #6 - Wairarapa Airlines

During the last few months I have been PDFing my airline profiles... With some of them I have done some major reworks. For those interested in my airline histories you might want to check out the updated versions. I will post links over the next few days... 




07 January 2021

Wanaka Doing Well

 


The 45-minute flights between Christchurch and Wānaka Airport that started in November are continuing to be well supported by Wānaka and Christchurch people. Sounds Air chief executive Andrew Crawford said he was very pleased with use of the service and the initial 12 return flights a week had been maintained over the holiday period – with the most support from Wānaka local people. “ We’re getting great support from people patronising the service. Our pilots have been out and about talking to people around town as well, and we’re really pleased with the positive feedback we’re getting,” he said.  With international tourists not around to use the service, the flights were “standing on their own two feet” with good forward bookings in the domestic market.  “International tourists returning at some stage would be nice to have, but not critical to the service. This is a largely domestic-based operation,” he said.  He would not be drawn on whether more flights would be added or any changes made beyond February. Sounds Air uses a Pilatus PC-12 turboprop aircraft carrying up to nine passengers at a time.

Source : https://www.thewanakasun.co.nz/news/14422-ongoing-support-sounds-air-flights.html

Major Rework #5 - Coast Air

During the last few months I have been PDFing my airline profiles... With some of them I have done some major reworks. For those interested in my airline histories you might want to check out the updated versions. I will post links over the next few days... 





06 January 2021

Major Rework #4 - West Coast Airways

During the last few months I have been PDFing my airline profiles... With some of them I have done some major reworks. For those interested in my airline histories you might want to check out the updated versions. I will post links over the next few days... 




http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2011/06/west-coast-airways-last-airline-to.html


Pasifika Air's Expanding Plans

 



Will Pasifika Air be New Zealand's newest airline?

In December 2020 Kiwi businessman Mike Pero’s announced that his new airline, Pasifika Air, planned to launch direct flights from Wellington and Christchurch to Rarotonga in June 2021 subject to Civil Aviation Authority approval to operate in May 2021 and to launch flights shortly afterwards. Thrice weekly flights are planned from both Wellington and Christchurch using two leased Boeing 737-800s. The airline will offer a variety of fares and is not aiming to be a low cost carrier.


In January 2021 Mike Pero was reported as saying his new airline business Pasifika Air will probably have flights to more destinations than just the Cook Islands when it launches later this year. He said once Pasifika Air had been granted an operating licence it would be able to fly anywhere within five hours using leased Boeing 737-800s. Pero said he planned to have flights from New Zealand to various Pacific Islands as well as to Australia, should planned travel bubbles become a reality, and maybe even New Zealand domestic services. He also planned to operate charter services for those wanting to book an entire jet for groups.


05 January 2021

Major Rework #3 - Golden Coast Airlines

During the last few months I have been PDFing my airline profiles... With some of them I have done some major reworks. For those interested in my airline histories you might want to check out the updated versions. I will post links over the next few days... 



http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2011/03/from-hamilton-to-greymouth-golden-coast.html


 

04 January 2021

Major Rework #2 - Newmans Air

 During the last few months I have been PDFing my airline profiles... With some of them I have done some major reworks. For those interested in my airline histories you might want to check out the updated versions. I will post links over the next few days... 





03 January 2021

Major Rework #1 - Westland Flying Services

During the last few months I have been PDFing my airline profiles... With some of them I have done some major reworks. For those interested in my airline histories you might want to check out the updated versions. I will post links over the next few days...