|Sporting Northland Air Taxis titles, Piper Pa28-140 Cherokee ZK-BZH taken at Whangarei on 4 August 1966.|
In August 1970 NAC replaced their Douglas DC-3 service to Northland with Fokker Friendships. As part of the timetable reshuffle Whangarei lost its early morning service to Auckland. The Northland Districts Aero Club took this opportunity to introduce a twice daily return air taxi service to Auckland on each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The service, which operated under the name of Executive Air Taxis, started on the 21st of August 1970 using their newly imported Piper Pa32-260 Cherokee Six ZK-DBP (c/n 32-1117).
|Executive Air Taxis' first Piper Cherokee Six, ZK-DBP, taken a long way from home, at Timaru on 10 Febraury 1976.|
|Timetable effective, October 1970|
|Executive Air Taxis' Piper Cherokee Six ZK-DSQ at Rotorua on 27 Janaury 1984.|
|Timetable effective December 1974|
|On its home patch, De Havilland Devon ZK-KTT at Whangarei on 1 November 1986.|
By 1985 the service had been rebranded as Whangarei Air Taxis and by the late 1980s the Club was offering three return flights each weekday. Flights departed Whangarei at 6.50am, 9.00am and 3.00pm and return flights departed Auckland at 8.00am, 10.00am and 5.00pm. By this time the costs of operating the aging Devon aircraft were becoming prohibitive and the Club decided to replace the Devons with an 12 seat Nomad aircraft. The cost of introducing the new aircraft was a $300,000 project, which included the purchase price, training, ground support and advertising, and it sought to raise this capital by way of debentures, the same way it had financed its first aircraft. The GAF N22B Nomad, ZK-NDB (c/n N22B-37), was registered to the Club in mid-August 1988 and introduced to the service some time after this.
|De Havilland Devon ZK-UDO rebranded as Whangarei Air Taxi in March 1985. Photographer unknown|
|Northern Advocate, 25 July 1987|
|Whangarei Air Taxis GAF N22 Nomad at Auckland in 1989. Photographer unknown|
|Barrier Bulletin, November 1990|
|Barrier Bulletin, April 1993|
|Piper Cherokee 6 ZK-DUO at Palmerston North on 25 June 1988 (above) and at Hokitika on 7 April 1996 (below)|
|Piper Cherokee 6 ZK-DBP at Christchurch on 7 September 1985|
|The Northland Districts Aero Club's Piper Archer ZK-NDA taken at West Melton on 28 March 1987.|
In mid 2012 the Northland Districts Aero Club merged with the Whangarei Flying Club.
A post on Northern Commuter Airlines will follow at a later date.
As with all my posts I am open to correction, addition or deletion. I would love to hear from passengers or pilots of there experiences on any of these airlines to I can put a human face to the histories of NZ's smaller airlines. Thanks Steve - firstname.lastname@example.org