15 January 2015

What is the future for Whakatane?

Is this a case of the old and the new??? Eagle Air's Beech 1900D ZK-EAD, Air Chathams' Douglas DC-3 ZK-AWP and Super Air's Fletcher ZK-CBA... So the old the Beech 1900??? The new the Douglas DC-3 to Auckland??? And the Fletcher operating a connecting service to Kawerau and Opotiki????

14 comments:

  1. The DC-3 took some council staff around the city, in the afternoon

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  2. Convairs & Metros before long

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    1. In thrust we trust.

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  3. Air Chats would be a good fit for WHK if they get the fares right

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  4. Surely even Air Chathams have more sense than to operate a nearly 80 year old aircraft on scheduled services in New Zealand. SPANZ/NAC ditched these things 40 years ago because they were too old!

    They'll get a handful of enthusiasts wanting to fly on it but no member of the general public with any common sense will go near it.

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    1. Considering how long Chats has operated and the projects they have been involved in you can have faith that Mr Emeny will provide the best service to the community that he can with the resources available. Resources such as two 50 seat convairs and a metroliner with no current scheduled commitments. The DC3 is no doubt an enthusiasts machine, which is scheduled to attend the Masterton airshow. Also if you are looking to show VIP's your enthusiasm for starting a new air service why not take your favorite toy out for a Spin?

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    2. Nothing wrong with the 580. One of the few air frames in the world with a infinite hour limit. You will be hard pushed to fine a stronger airframe. However, not an issue as it won't operate this service.

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  5. SA 227 perhaps. Put the 580 dreams to bed. That machine will not operate a short sector domestic service. 8000 HP doesn't come cheap.

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  6. DC3s worry me less than the Convair 580 frankly in terms of age - the CV is pressurized and that usually doesn't go well with "elderly" airframes. I'd take the Douglas any day to operate it but from a serious POV we need a 3rd level operator with 30 seat equipment that isn't too old to fill the gaps here... perhaps with SAAB 340s or EMB-120s etc... If Air Chats had any sense they'd sell all their hotch potch of elderly equip and buy a second hand ATR 42/Dash 8/Saab 2000.. would modernise their fleet and provide additional capacity to work around the regions if they got two of them.

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    1. The convairs are structurally very robust, hence their popularity as water bombers which is incredibly strenuous on airframes. Even second hand ATR/Dashes require a fairly enormous amount of investment capital when compared to a convair. A very capable aircraft for little investment. I wouldn't think a relatively small private company like Chats would have the cash to buy such things considering the failure of previous ventures. The aircraft are available, although they do drink alot more gas than their modern replacements.

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    2. Comment is a little ignorant. The reason Air Chathams still use and maintain there Convairs is that they can carry a really good load of freight/pax and fuel to the Islands, and also have enough fuel remaining to return to the mainland with a really good amount of freight/pax. I highly doubt a ATR42 or a Dash 8 would be able to carry the amount of fuel/freight as the Connie can. Yes are extremely thirsty aeroplanes, those huge allison engines aren't powered by nothing. I was sure i read somewhere that Air Chathams recently overhauled and zero timed one of their Convairs (ZK-CIB??) Does anyone know if this is true?

      Air Chathams have proven themselves to be a strong, innovative operator, in the face of a recession and high fuel prices. They give the Chathams community a excellent air service, have done for many years, and will continue to for many years.

      For the record, there business venture in the Kingdom of Tonga did not 'Fail'. Do a little back reading on this blog and you will find that Air Chathams made a clever business decision that prevented them from becoming a 'failed' operator.

      I really don't think we will see Convairs flying the daily services to and from WHK, but Air Chathams have other aircraft at their disposal. The 19 seater Metro, the 9 seater Britten Norman Islander, they also have a Queen Air. There are options. It is important though that Air Chats get the fares right. Even a Metro or a Islander is a step up from a horrid little Aztec. Whats happening with Sunair anyway, they have gone quiet lately!

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    3. Hopefully Sunair are gone or going, they certainly deserve it more than some others that have recently suffered the worst because they actually bothered to maintain their aircraft...

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    4. air chathams does not have any queenairs, a3cia was i belive sold to real tonga and if you do a little research on here you will find that it had a wheels up landing in tonga.

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    5. Yea CIA is permanently out for the count.
      The original CIA is now a garden ornament for a Hawkes Bay farmer.

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