01 March 2016

Well Done Kiwi Regional

As reported on this blog over the weekend Kiwi Regional were using an Air Chathams Convair over the weekend. And despite the disruption to the northbound Friday Dunedin-Nelson-Hamilton service passengers were very happy... What the article doesn't make clear is that for those who had to fly they were offered alternate travel on Air NZ! Well done Kiwi Regional.

And it looks as if this week is a big week for the airline... a new route to be announced and news of a second aircraft!

Passengers have praised Kiwi Regional Airlines for the way it handled a grounded aircraft last week. On Friday the Hamilton airline operator's only aircraft - a 34-seat twin turbo-prop Saab 340A - was grounded for unscheduled maintenance. Kiwi Regional Airlines chief executive Ewan Wilson said there was a problem with a caution light used in pre-start procedures. The part required for the repair was in Australia so a Kiwi Air staff member caught a trans-Tasman flight to collect it. Aviation commentator Irene King has said previously that operating an airline with just one aircraft was "incredibly challenging" especially with no other Saabs in New Zealand. Kiwi Regional Airlines' Dunedin-Nelson and Nelson-Hamilton services were cancelled on Friday morning due to the grounding. While the Saab was out of action Kiwi Regional Airlines called in Air Chathams to run the service using its 50-seat Convair 580. "It's a stressful couple of hours at the office as you rejig things," Wilson said. Cornelius Prinsloo,​ who was affected by a cancelled flight, said he "seriously enjoyed" dealing with Kiwi Regional Airlines over the weekend. help, after a cancelled flight, like this before. Sorted us a new flight asap," Prinsloo said. He said the service even beat that of Dubai airline Emirates. Murray Horn congratulated the airline for finding "a mighty workhorse" replacement to keep passengers happy. Wilson said Air Chathams ran most of Kiwi Regional Airlines' scheduled services on Friday and Saturday using its own pilots, cabin crew, engineers, fuel and catering. "We just pay a sum and they run the service. Passengers were offered a full refund, a next day flight or to be booked on alternative services. Kiwi Regional Airlines would announce a new route network and schedule on Tuesday which would begin on May 14, Wilson said. An announcement regarding a second aircraft would be made a few days later. A second aircraft would join the fleet to provide back up to the existing aircraft and for charter services, he said. It would not be used for extra capacity on regular passenger services.


  1. I actually know several people caught up in the disruption on Friday. They said customer service was appalling, refunds were offered but no alternate arrangements were made with Air NZ.
    As a result they missed a family wedding.
    Really reinforces the fact that these little start ups are great for carefree weekends with no pressures. Not for essential events, international connections and back at work Monday trips that need to go without dramas

  2. Check out the Stuff article... someone had exactly the opposite, new flight, food and drink, and shuttle Auckland to Hamilton... may have been a difference between Dunedin and Nelson handling the disrupt perhaps

  3. It was interesting today's NZ Herald, the KRA is starting a TRG/CHC service from 14 May 15 - http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11597569

    Also KRA will be announcing in the a week or so details on their second aircraft.