Harry Jenkins, a Pukekohe bulldozer-driving contractor, started learning to fly with the Waikato Aero Club, gaining his PPL in 1960 and his commercial and instructor ratings in 1966. Moving into the aviation industry he started flying for Paraparaumu based New Zealand Aero Sales. When this company was sold he started the Paraparaumu Flying School, a branch of Jim Bergman's Auckland Flying School which was later to Rex Aviation. While under the Rex Aviation banner he commenced a regular service to Westport and Greymouth (see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/rex-air-charter-west-coast-service.html) while the training and air charter business expanded. Rex Air Charter was in turn taken over by Dalhoff and King. When this company later sold the business that be had built up to Capital Air Services and the Wellington Aero Club Harry was so outraged that he started up his own company, Associated Aviation, on the 1st of July 1975 offering flying training and limited charter work from Paraparaumu. In the beginning the company operated two Cessna 150s (ZK-CTE and CXE) and a Cessna Cardinal RG (ZK-DRF). Then on the 1st of September 1976 a Cherokee 180 (ZK-DLN), the first aircraft owned by Associated, joined the fleet.”
|Captured shortly after arriving on the line, Associated Air Charter's Piper Aztec at Paraparaumu in April 1979|
|The Dominion, 13 April 1981|
|The Dominion, 13 April 1981|
|Arrow Couriers and the Aztec... The Dominion, 13 April 1981|
At the beginning of December 1981 Associated Air Charter began operating air-taxi flights to Auckland and return twice-weekly. Early in January, this was stepped up to three return flights a week operating on Mondays-Wednesdays and Fridays. In April 1982 the company successfully applied these flights to operate on a scheduled basis and for the addition of a nine seat Cessna 421 Golden Eagle to their fleet. Harry Jenkins told the Kapiti Observer that “the service has been very well supported, and with a history of four months of high loadings, has proved itself sustainable," The flights departed Paraparaumu at 7.25am, the aircraft remaining in Auckland for day and the return flight leaving Auckland at 4.25pm, for the 90 minute flight to Paraparaumu.
|Kapiti Observer, 5 January 1983|
|Above, the first of the two Cessna 402s, ZK-DSB at Christchurch in October 1985. The 402 would sit in the Garden City all day before its return service to Paraparaumu. Below it is seen repainted at its Paraparaumu home base on 15 May 1988.|
|Announcing the new service to Christchurch - Kapiti Observer 26 March 1983|
|Not long after the Christchurch service started I caught it there on the Monday of Queen's Birthday weekend on 7 June 1983.|
|The second Cessna 402, ZK-KAN at Paraparaumu on 15 May 1988|
|Timetable Number 4 including the new Christchurch and Nelson services. Effective 11 April 1983|
|Cessna 310R ZK-ETM at Paraparaumu on 16 January 1986|
|In the aftermath of the Air Albatross collapse - The Dominion, 6 January 1986|
|The timetable for the Palmerston North-Nelson service replacing Air Albatross effective 12 January 1986. Air New Zealand now fly this route twice a day on weekdays.|
|Now flying to Wanganui - timetable effective 19 June 1989|
In October 1989 year the company introduced Cessna 421 Golden Eagles to the fleet, with ZK-JBF added to the fleet and later, in early 1990, ZK-DCN. The frequency of the southern service to Blenheim and Christchurch was increased to a weekday service. At the same time Saturday night freight flights between Hamilton and Timaru for Sunday newspapers were added to the schedule. The introduction of the Golden Eagles meant the end for the Cessna 310, ZK-ETM, and the two Cessna 402s, ZK-DSB and ZK-KAN, and these were sold.
|Cessna 421C Golden Eagle enjoying the Hokitika sun on 24 May 1991|
|Another Associated aircraft on a charter to Hokitika, Beech Baron ZK-WLV on 7 June 1996|
Toward the end of 1996 the Armourguard flights between Wellington, Napier and Gisborne ceased. Then, during December 1996, Air Nelson, flying under the Air New Zealand Link banner relinquished the Motueka-Wellington-Motueka service in favour of Associated Airlines. Piper Pa31-310 Navajo ZK-NSN was added to the fleet and operated the Motueka service until 27 February 1998. This date marked the end of a scheduled air service to Motueka.
|The Dominion, 24 December 1996|
|Associated Airlines acquired both the Motueka service and the Piper Navajo from Air Nelson... ZK-NSN taken at Motueka on 2 January 1998|
|The Motueka timetable effective 1 February 1997|
|Kapiti Observer, 10 February 1997|
On the 10th of November 1997 the 421 was replaced by Origin Pacific Jetstream 31s on the Paraparaumu - Auckland service operated on behalf of Associated Airlines. The last remaining Cessna 421, ZK-DCN, continued to be used for charter work. The company finally ceased operating the Paraparaumu-Auckland air service in May 1998 with the 421 eventually going to Origin Pacific in April 1999. Both Russell and Keith Jenkins took up commands with Origin Pacific.
|One of Origin Pacific's Jetstreams ready to operate the Auckland service. Kapiti Observer, 10 November 1997|
|The Auckland Paraparaumu service as operated by the Origin Pacific Jetstreams, effective 1 November 1997|
The last remaining Cessna 421, ZK-DCN, continued to be used for charter work. The company finally ceased operating the Paraparaumu-Auckland air service in May 1998 with the 421 eventually going to Origin Pacific in April 1999. Both Russell and Keith Jenkins took up commands with Origin Pacific.
|Associated Airline's second and longest serving Cessna 421 Golden Eagle, ZK-DCN, at Nelson on 3 January 1991|
One of the dangers of posting a piece like this is making mistakes or having omissions and then, because it is published, it is taken as gospel. For historical accuracy could you please write a comment or e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any errors, omissions or stories you might have about Associated Air/Associated Airlines.