In late 1984 the face of a new player on the tourist airline business appeared in the form of Newmans Air which was formed to offer competition to Mount Cook Airlines. Like Mount Cook Airline’s Newman’s Air had its origins in a rich heritage of bus and tourist services in New Zealand. With its plans to buy into Mount Cook Airlines thwarted Newmans Air was established with its services more or less replicating Mount Cook Airline’s routes. The company ordered two De Havilland Canada Dash-7 aircraft and the first of these, ZK-NEW, arrived just before Christmas in 1984. Over the next six weeks it was kept busy doing crew training and familiarisation flights.
The company’s first scheduled flights began on 13 February 1985, using two De Havilland Canada Dash-7 aircraft, ZK-NEW and ZK-NEX, though The initial timetable saw two daily northbound services to Rotorua from Christchurch, one extending further north to Auckland, and three southbound services from Christchurch to Queenstown.
|What appeared - Dash 8 ZK-NEY in Ansett Newmans titles at Christchurch on 26 January 1987... the "Newmans" was soon to disappear and the airline became Ansett New Zealand.|
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