11 March 2011

Vale Air National

The Civil Aviation Authority is continuing to investigate charter airline Air National even though the airline has relinquished its air operator certificate. The Director of Civil Aviation, Steve Douglas, says he received a letter from the company yesterday voluntarily asking him to revoke its certificate and he revoked it immediately. The CAA grounded the country's biggest private charter airline six weeks ago over safety concerns including some training records and other administrative issues. It is understood that between 30 and 40 staff are set to lose their jobs, mainly in Auckland, out of a total of 60. The airline flew some regional services for Air New Zealand and also held a contract with the Corrections Department. The Court of Appeal upheld the grounding order early last month. Before the grounding, it operated nine aircraft, including private jets and regional and jet airliners. The CAA was due to issue a final report today, coinciding with the final day of the current 10 working days suspension. In a letter to the CAA director Steve Douglas, obtained by The Dominion Post, Air National chief executive Jason Gray accused the authority of conducting its investigation with a view to putting the airline out of business. Alternative plans to allow the airline to continue operating while it addressed CAA's concerns were rejected, he says. Air National had conducted safe and professional air services for over 20 years without any significant incident or accident, he says. "I have little doubt that this is the outcome that the CAA hoped to achieve when the decision to suspend the air operator certificate was made on January 29," Mr Gray says. The company would continue to operate its maintenance business, which was unaffected by the investigation.

Source : http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/business/4756377/Air-National-reluctantly-concedes-fight

As at 11 Mar 11 the Air National fleet was made up of:

Piper PA23-250 Aztec ZK-ECM
BAe Jetstream 32EP ZK-ECI, ECJ, ECP, ECR
BAe 146-200 ZK-ECO
Westwind II ZK-RML (last flew 25 August 2010)
Gulfstream G200 ZK-RGB (departed Auckland for Samoa and Hawaii 26 February 2011)
Citation 501 ZK-NBR (flew Auckland-Rotorua-Hamilton 28 February 2011)

Air National was established in 1989 and started charter operations the followin year.  It was originally branded as Menzies Aviation and underwent a name change to Air National in 1992.

The operator has flown a number of different aircraft types during its time:
J32EP ZK-ECI/2 from 07/06 to current
J32EP ZK-ECJ/2 from 07/06 to current
GAF N24 Nomad ZK-ECM/1 from 06/90 to 05/94
GAF N24 Nomad ZK-ECN/1 from 06/92 to 04/97
J32EP ZK-ECN/2 from 10/98 to 10/10
EMB110 Bandierante ZK-ECM/2 from 07/93 to 05/94
Piper PA23 Aztec ZK-ECM/3 from 07/05 to current
BAe 146-200 ZK-ECO/2 from 01/09 to current
Cessna 404 ZK-ECP/2 from 10/94 to 09/98
J32EP ZK-ECP/3 from 06/99 to current
PA31-325 ZK-ECQ/1 from 04/95 to 07/96
MU2B ZK-ECR/2 from 06/95 to 10/00
DH8-202 ZK-ECR/3 from 04/02 to 02/05
J32EP ZK-ECR/4 from 07/06 to current
Gulfstream 4SP ZK-KFB/1 from 07/03 to 04/10
Gulfstream G200 ZK-RGB from 11/07 to current
Citation 501 ZK-NBR from 06/10 to current


  1. And Westwind ZK-RML.

  2. And DHC-8-102 ZK-NEZ 08/01-07/05

  3. Bruce Gavin sent this email on Friday when I was in Sydney...

    A few posibles to add to the fleet list:
    ZK-RDT Embraer 820C 14/7/98 to 1/5/01
    ZK-NEZ DHC-8-102 16/8/01 to 28/7/2005
    ZK-ZAQ Cessna 421C 5/11/02 to ????

    And a couple of more tenuous ones:
    ZK-CIC wet leased for a time about 1998
    VH-FLO Gulfstream 1 arrived Auckland 12/12/93- rumoured for use by Menzies Aviation for freight flights from Auckland to Christchurch- never used eventually became a feature on the far side of the main runway.