30 May 2016

Air Chathams picks up Whanganui


Air Chathams is stepping into the gap left by Air New Zealand pulling out of Whanganui... Whanganui mayor Annette Main said the loss of the route would have been a major blow but, fortunately, Air Chathams had already stepped into the gap. Air Chathams announced, almost simultaneously to Air New Zealand's announcement, they will be starting flights between Auckland and Whanganui as soon as Air New Zealand stops its service to the airport on July 31. Their 19-seat Metroliner planes will fly the same weekday schedule as Air New Zealand currently does, but there will be some minor changes to weekend flights. Whanganui MP Chester Borrows found it encouraging that Air Chathams had made a decision to take over the route. He said people wouldn't like Air New Zealand's decision but the best option was to move on. "We can sulk about this and get no change, or shake the living daylight out of the opportunity we have to prove them wrong"... Main said the council looked forward to welcoming Air Chathams to the Whanganui Airport, and would be mounting a campaign to encourage the community to support the route. Air Chathams chief executive Craig Emeny said he was encouraged by the resolve shown by Whanganui's elected representatives to support the Auckland-Whanganui service. "We understand the commercial decisions that have prompted this decision from Air New Zealand. "And we want to reassure the local community that Air Chathams will continue to work alongside the national carrier to ensure that Whanganui receives a safe, reliable air service enabling the region to continue to grow into the future."

29 comments:

  1. Obviously discussions had been had between NZ and Chathams ahead of time so great to see a degree of collaboration. Can't wait to see ZK-CID out and about. Its nestled partly in their Auckland hangar.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Is this a case of "oh you can stay with the family for now ZK-PLZ..." one wonders if both sounds air and Air chathams had a inclination with fleet building or holding on to aircraft just of recent...
    Anyway wow it's almost two years now when the earth shattering news came out about Eagle air... and all the bewildered and worried councils scrambling around trying hard to hold on like a out of the blue relationship break up.... two years on and a year of looking at some very interesting cast studies all around suggest... this could be the silver lining on the edge of that very dark depressing cloud.. both Taupo, Westport and Whaka had an opportunity to have a custom suited airline schedule to match their needs along with a regional airline that dealt directly with the community in many ways than one... overnight aircraft equals crew staying in hotels spending $$$ in that township...
    Seriously I think the best thing has happened for all of theses "second generation" cut from the main trunk line communities..
    I actually sent an email to Air Chats... I seriously belive having a interlined co-op between themy and Sounds air would be a pretty amazing and potent link up.

    ReplyDelete
  3. How would an interline work if they don't even fly to a single common point?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just wait for WKK-WLG and probably AKL-TUO. That'll give you 2 points to start with

      Delete
  4. Good point.. That will hinge on Air Chats flying to Wellington. Keep thinking it's been all confirmed but it's still on the drawing board.
    Someone made a brilliant point on airliners net nz page...
    Sounds air Blenheim to Chr then on to Wanaka... then I thought it would be brilliant to then link back to Wellington..? Perfect for a 9 seater.. multiple international connections via Chc and business in Wellington.
    Could Blenheim or to be precise, Woodburn become the next Nelson with the "3rd levelers"..? For example Air Chats, instead of Whaka-Wellington.. Whaka-Blenheim.? Or Palmy to Woodburn etc...

    ReplyDelete
  5. my 50c bet - Chats won't fly to WLG now at least in the short term. They can't do it all with 2 metros. They would need another aeroplane.

    We have seen it with KRA already, one issue with the aeroplane can be a customer nightmare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Could Air Chats also do something Sounds air and Eagle air could not... Wanganui to Wellington... it would be brilliant extra utilisation from that second aircraft... Air Nelson/Eagle air went so long they must of had some decent loadings with their metros/b1900s... or at the very least. air Chats must be able to access information from Air nz in regards to loadings from both the metro and b1900 flights to Wellington also, in regards to Sounds air well... was a Caravan ever going to compete with "down the road"

      Delete
    2. No... If Sounds Air couldn't make it work I don't think Air Chathams could... An idea might be WAG-CHC. Air Chats will need another Metro as back up I suspect. One wonders whether there will be a "Whanganui plane" colour scheme? I also wonder if there will be a change in name?

      Delete
    3. Air Chats were looking at WHK-WLG... Don't think that will happen in a hurry now unless they use the Aero Commander. A third Metro as back up would be helpful

      Delete
  6. One area that sounds air really needs to have a look at...Pricing...
    They have made an amazing point in which prices are fixed... but... maybe have some flexibility, and a area that they should be looking at and that is connecting flights... there should be some sort of discounts where for arguments sake.. Taupo to Nelson... currently you basically pay for two separate flights.. maybe by having a, well even a half decent discount and some advertising would go a huge way for patronage for Sounds air..what percentage of Taupo residents fly to Nelson via Auckland and have no idea that Sounds Air fly to Nelson.. it's very well advertised Taupo to Well for 219 but... very little or nothing to suggest that Sounds fly to Nelson let alone four or so other,even to the point that you could go as far as saying "premium tourist or business hotspots" beyond Wellington..

    ReplyDelete
  7. With Air NZ announcement that AKL/WAG and BHE/CHC Q300 services are being axed, it has further opens up the regional market for the 2nd/3rd level air operators.

    Its great that Air Chathams has decided operate the AKL/WAG route.

    When you look at the new developing regional network being created by 2nd/3rd level operators, is becoming a hot potch of air operators, that are grapping at destinations without any forward marketing, interlining of services and reservation capabilities between carriers, of which none of them are going to make alot of money and definitely no catering for the business and tourism markets.

    I am still of the opinion, that major 2nd/3rd level operators need to look creating a regional airline carrier alliance, so they can use a standardised reservation distribution management system allowing for inter carrier reservations, negotiate as a group - check in, ground handling, apron space, etc with CHC, AKL, WLG DUD, ZQN airport companies and negotiate as a group an interline agreement with Air NZ and/or Jetstar. Air NZ has said it will not have an interline agreement with any one carrier but as operational/marketing group, Air NZ might look at an interline agreement. If they don't Qantas/Jetstar would.

    Each carrier will still retain their own aircraft types, like Soundsair will continue with their single engine aircraft like the PC-12's and Caravans, etc, flying on their own respective domestic short haul routes.

    For domestic medium haul routes like AKL/WAG, TRG/NSN, NSN/DUD, CHC/WKA, etc should be a mixture of 19 to 32 seater aircraft, using the surplus 1900's sitting in Hamilton as base aircraft type of domestic medium haul services coupled up with KRA Saab 340, Robert Ingles privately owned J31, etc.

    By doing this, makes economic sense, as 2nd/3rd level operators have low company overheads, labour costs as oppose to Eagle Airways which, besides their own business costs, had to pay a management/marketing fee to Air NZ - the parent company.

    By forming a NZ regional air carriers alliance would be a first in the South Pacific region but it would be great for regional passengers, as it would give the traveler a more cohesive regional travel product and experience whether it is leisure, business or tourism.

    There are other 2nd/3rd operators like Air Safaris with their Nomads who have been eyeing the CHC/TPO route, Real Journeys ZQN/TEU/MFN scenic air services using Nomads, Stewart Island Flights with their IVC/SZS (Stewart Island) with their Interislanders, can benefit from a regional air carriers alliance.

    New Zealand is starting to go through new age of international tourism, mainly from Asia and India, so there is good earning potential can be made by forming a regional air carriers alliance.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Something I had in mind was a bit like a codeshare scenario such as. You will book through sounds air to Picton, board Air Chats flight 126 sounds air 26 in Whakatane or book air chathams to Whakatane boarding Kiwi flight 143 Air Chats 43 to Whakatane vis versa... exactly what I was meaning.. each and every aircraft has/keeps its "very hard earned" identity but all work together to fill a "professional and working " void left by air nz...
      P.s Great barrier and Sunday air, please look into getting a continual livery through your guys fleet... even if it means "GB" painting your aircraft white like you had after the bird liveries.

      Delete
    2. I wonder how much inter-provincial traffic there is - the bread and butter for the regional airlines is provincial centre to major centre.

      Delete
  8. "Air Safaris with their Nomads who have been eyeing the CHC/TPO route"

    What is TPO airport?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lake Tekapo Airport is NZTL (ICAO). To the best of my knowledge it does not have an IATA code.

      Delete
    2. I'd love a chance to fly a Normad!!! There is always a spare one parked up at Taupo.
      Definitely Taupo to Christchurch is a goer!!! Been talked about between the Mayor and myself.. love to try tap into the Queenstown via Christchurch market

      Delete
    3. I'd love a chance to fly a Normad!!! There is always a spare one parked up at Taupo.
      Definitely Taupo to Christchurch is a goer!!! Been talked about between the Mayor and myself.. love to try tap into the Queenstown via Christchurch market

      Delete
    4. Hasn't been much of the Air Safaris proposal... I don't think it would be a winner myself

      Delete
    5. The route would work if part of regional air carriers alliance route network.

      Delete
  9. Good to see Air Chats taking over these routes.
    I hope these routes aren't been supported by the high priced Chatham islands route

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Their prices to the Chathams don't appear to have increased markedly since they started flying Auckland-Whakatane so I think it's unlikely they'll do so now.

      Delete
    2. The high price Chathams tickets go towards the convairs gas bill

      Delete
    3. Air Chats do have cheap fares to and from the Chathams - just book early

      Delete
    4. Cheapest I can find is $385 each way. Pretty steep!

      Delete
    5. The distance between WLG and CHT is the same as between AKL and CHC. There is a big market for travel between these two centres. There is not to the Chathams especially in winter. Airlines don't make money on grabaseat fares... The airline has to make a profit to survive. They are also having to use older aircraft with associated costs as there isn't an easy replacement for the Convair. All in all I think they do a good job

      Delete
    6. To be clear I think they do a great job, and with such a small market it's no surprise the fares are high. I'm just saying I wouldn't exactly describe them as "cheap fares"

      Delete
    7. But, if there was competition on the Chathams route, then like the main land, fares would reduce. Go back a few years and this happened......

      Delete