30 March 2015

Will Napier be Sounds Air's Next Destination?

A new air service between Hawke's Bay and the prime South Island wine region of Marlborough is being considered by top-of-the-south provincial carrier Sounds Air. The possibility of a new carrier to facilitate direct flights between Napier and Blenheim was revealed by Hawke's Bay Airport Co acting chairman Jim Scotland, in presenting the company's draft statement of intent to a meeting of the finance committee of major shareholder, the Napier City Council. Mr Scotland, airport chief executive Nick Story and Sounds Air managing director Andrew Crawford were all unable to be contacted last night by Hawke's Bay Today for further comment. But, asked whether the discussions were in the early stages or more formal, Napier Mayor Bill Dalton said: "I think it's between those two points." He believes there is a demand for a service between Hawke's Bay and the Marlborough-Nelson region, and added: "They are two of the premier grape and wine regions of New Zealand." Such a service "sits very well" with the regions, and would assist development and growth in both areas, he said. Sounds Air, which has operated for more than 25 years and is regarded as a specialist Cook Strait flyer, has already made a significant move recently to pick-up a Westport service which is being dropped by Air New Zealand. It is starting that service on April 28, in partnering with Development West Coast in the financing of the company's second single-engined nine-seater Pilatus PC12. The company has its own airport near Picton and also links Nelson, Wellington, Paraparaumu and Wanganui, its services being based mainly around four Cessna Caravan aircraft, each with a capacity of 13 passengers. Hawke's Bay air services campaigner Simon Nixon also believes there is a demand for a Hawke's Bay-Marlborough service, which he said would be welcomed, particularly by wineries with staff flying regularly between the regions whose only option is the current two-sector Air New Zealand flights through Wellington. A check last night showed the cheapest fare on the national airliner from Napier to Blenheim on Saturday and returning on Sunday was $629. Earlier this week Hawke's Bay Airport annouced a $5 million terminal upgrade and a new name - Ahuriri Airport Hawke's Bay. 

29 March 2015

Winging their way through Wellington

Before I flew over to Takaka on Mount Cook Airlines' 14 March 2015 ATR 72-600 ZK-MVE was arriving on gate...
whole Air Nelson's Bombardier Q300 ZK-NEW was on start up...
While on my return Mount Cook Airlines' ATR 72-600 ZK-MVD was on the taxi

The next day, 15 March 2015, Eagle Air's Beech 1900D ZK-EAG was captured getting airborne
as were Air Nelson's Bombardier Q300s ZK-NEM... 
...and ZK-NER
Air New Zealand Boeing 737-300 roaring out of Wellington
Jetstar's Airbus 320 VH-VGD at the end of its landing roll
while Airbus 320 VH-VQE was caught on arrival and departure.

26 March 2015

Over at Takaka and Nelson

While at Takaka and Nelson recently I captured a few other aircraft...

Grumman American AA-5A Cheetah was visiting Takaka on 14 March 2015.
Also offering scenic flights from Takaka is Remote Adventures which operates as Adventure Flights Golden Bay. Here is Mit's Cessna 185 ZK-MIT.
Over from Motueka was the Motueka Aero Club's Cessna 152 ZK-NEI
Enjoying the Golden Bay sunshine was the Golden Bay Flying Club's Zenith Zodiac CH 601-XL ZK-TKA   
It was a quick turnaround at Nelson so I only got Cessna 172 ZK-DFI...
and Cessna A185E ZK-LJG. Both photos taken on 14 March 2015

24 March 2015

A day with Golden Bay Air - Part 3

And the final installment of my day with Golden Bay Air, my flight back to Wellington in Saratoga ZK-ZIG

When the cats away... actually Richard, the staff were working hard... Erman even making sure the bottom of ZIG looked good for the plane spotters at Wellington!
Off again... lining up on runway 36 at Takaka
The day was just getting better and better as we departed

Passing Takaka again 

Climbing pass the Takaka Hill.... sure beats that windy road

and over Abel Tasman National Park and its beautiful bays

Nelson in the distance as we crossed Tasman Bay
Tracking towards Croisilles Harbour

Whangarae Bay
Okiwi Bay

Another mussel farm

Passing Picton

Well above the Tory Channel cables... they are very hard to spot 
A salmon farm in Tory Channel
A lick of low cloud as we pass above the Tory Channel entrance 

Karori Rock
Holding west of Island Bay
Positioning past the Wellington Airport for a Harbour Entrance arrival for Runway 16 
Passing Pencarrow Head
While Bluebridge's Santa Regina steams up the harbour
Downwind for 16
A tight left base for Runway 16 past Mount Crawford Prison

Passing Roseneath looking towards the city centre
and short finals for Runway 16

Give way to the ATR - welcome back to the Middle of Middle Earth
A BIG thanks to Golden Bay Air for a spectacular day.

Golden Bay lived up to all my expectations and much more.

If you want to try out Golden Bay Air go to