17 October 2018

The Latest...

From Oceania Air's Facebook page...

There has been a recent scam to try and get funding for the airline on give-a-little nz. The page is in the process of being taken down.

Investors MUST approach us privately by phone, email, or facebook messenger. We will NEVER publicly ask for money.

Please be aware and contact us immediately if you suspect there is a scam out there under our airlines name.

Thank you for your co-operation.

C.E.O Oceania Air Ltd

SDD in Service

Barrier Air's newest Cessna Caravan ZK-SDD entered service on 17 October 2018. It is photographed at Auckland on 16 October 2018

16 October 2018

Barrier Air Unveils New Colour Scheme and Caravan

Out of the paint shop is Barrier Air's newest Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SDD and it is wearing the company's new colour scheme which will be applied to the fleet. The aircraft previously was operated by Sounds Air as ZK-SAW. 

It looks as if ZK-SDD will be in service this weekend with Barrier Air scheduling a number of additional flights for the long weekend. The airline has also expanded the number of scheduled flights between Auckland and Great Barrier Island from this week.

14 October 2018

More Hamilton Flights

Another six commercial flights will be arriving and departing from Hamilton Airport each week. The airport's patronage continued to increase as Air New Zealand announced it would increase its Hamilton-Christchurch capacity by 11 per cent from the end of October. There are to be an additional four direct flights between the cities each week. The new Christchurch to Hamilton services will fly on Tuesdays and Saturdays, while flights from Hamilton to Christchurch will be on Tuesdays and Sundays. The 68-seater ATR aircraft will provide the new services in and out of Hamilton. Two more direct flights will also be offered between Hamilton and Wellington, both on Mondays - one flying south, the other coming north. Waikato Regional Airport Ltd chief executive Mark Morgan said the new flights should be "easily sustainable". "We're seeing some very competitive fares on direct routes between Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Palmerston North and that's being reflected in increased passenger numbers across the board," Morgan said. "For many travellers Hamilton is now an affordable, more convenient option than other airports, including Auckland." The extra flights will mean 408 more seats are on offer each week from Hamilton Airport, presenting a strong possibility of around 7000 passengers will pass through the airport's gates each week. The services will be provided by the 68-seater ATR turboprop aircraft, and come close on the tail of the new Friday flight launched between Hamilton and Wellington in April of this year. Waikato Regional Airport Ltd also announced at its recent annual general meeting that it achieved strong financial performance in the 2017/18 financial year. The company declared its second consecutive dividend, addressing the five councils that own shares in the airport. It is a council-controlled organisation owned by Hamilton City, Otorohanga, Waipā, Waikato and Matamata-Piako district councils. Also included in the stable are wholly-owned subsidiaries Titanium Park Limited and Hamilton & Waikato Tourism Ltd. A total dividend of $250,000 will be paid out to the shareholders based on earnings from the 2017/2018 year. Last year was the first time since 2012 that airport operations made a profit, independent of the wider group of companies. Since 2016, the airport had returned a profit largely on the back of land development.

11 October 2018

Third Caravan

As indicated earlier in this blog Sounds Air's Cessna 208B Grand Caravan ZK-SAW (c/n 208B2087)  and has been sold to Barrier Air and reregistered as ZK-SDD on 10 October 2018. The previous day ZK-SAW flew from Feilding to Napier.

09 October 2018

Ardmore Flights to Whitianga and Great Barrier Island

Something to watch out for... the ad below has appeared on the Air Auckland website but when you click the link "Nothing to book right now. Check back soon"  appears.

What is interesting is the picture is of a Sunair Aztec so one wonders if there is some kind of deal about to be done between the two operators?

08 October 2018

Norfolk Island Air Service Still on the Cards

New Zealand domestic airline Air Chathams says it is hoping to have a service to Norfolk Island in place by early next year. Norfolk has been without a New Zealand airlink for more than a year and its tourism industry has been suffering as a result. Air Chathams had earlier revealed plans for flights to start in September but company spokesman Duane Emeny says they struck some unforeseen obstacles. "Yeah it's been a longer process than we would have hoped. We are still working through some of the regulatory requirements and we have just recently taken on the Auckland to Kapiti air service and that has put quite a lot of strain on our resources. So we just don't want to rush into anything with Norfolk. We want to make sure when we start that service we do a really good job, live up to our reputation." Duane Emeny says Norfolk hosts a series of festivals early next year and Air Chathams wants to be ready to provide a service in time for those events.

Source : https://www.radionz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/368159/norfolk-air-service-delayed 

04 October 2018

DOC restricts Milford Flight

In a season when visitor numbers to Milford Sound are expected to reach an all time high, the number of aircraft landings there is about to be stripped by about 2500. A total of 12,314 regular landings per year are permitted at the Milford Aerodrome, the 34 concessions for which are managed by the Department of Conservation (DOC). These allocations were made by the then Minister of Conservation Kate Wilkinson in 2011 and remain fixed until the concessions expire in 2021. However, since February 2013, an additional 2500 landings a year have been allowed under what is known as a "supplementary pool" whereby concessionaires who have used 80% of their own allocations can apply for additional landings from the pool. Last year the supplementary pool was completely used up for the first time and this year DOC has received requests for more supplementary landings than is available in the pool. But two weeks ago the companies operating air services to Milford received a letter from DOC advising that the supplementary pool scheme will be scrapped from January 1. It will continue to run as normal until the end of this year or until it has been fully allocated, whichever comes first. In addition, landing fees at Milford will increase from $15 to $19 next year (effective January 1, 2019) then jump to between $45 and $200 the following year, based on the weight of the aircraft. DOC has also advised it will be increasing its management fee for the concessions from $400 to $500 from January 1. DOC Southern South Island director Aaron Fleming said DOC was trying to simplify the way it managed landings at the Milford Aerodrome and make the process fairer for all operators. "Over the past two years this supplementary pool has become more difficult to manage and so DOC has decided that from 1 January 2019, the supplementary pool will be discontinued." Instead, operators will be encouraged to work with one another to share existing allocations. "Concessionaires will continue to be able [to] apply to subpermit to existing Aerodrome concessionaires, or assign their unused landing allocations to other operators, provided both parties and DOC agree to the transfer," Mr Fleming's September 21 letter to operators says. "These measures are seen as being fairer to all concessionaires and give operators the opportunity to manage their own activities within the landing limits." Milford Aerodrome users are due to meet tonight in Queenstown to discuss their response to the changes. President of the Queenstown Milford User Group Paul Cooper declined to comment on the matter until after that meeting. However, Aviation New Zealand chief executive John Nicholson said the arbitrary decision making by DOC would have a significant impact on tourism operators in the area – where they could operate, staffing and wealth for the region. “DOC placing changes has a real ability to impact on what these companies can do but impact on New Zealand’s reputation. That’s just real amateur, a really amateur approach.” Mr Nicholson said there were very professional operators in the area providing top class services for tourists or visitors. “I can’t help but feel if they (DOC) came to the Queenstown Milford User Group and said ‘look, here’s the sort of problem we’re trying to address’, they would’ve got a much more workable solution.” Mr Nicholson said he planned to raise the industry’s concerns directly with DOC’s director general Lou Sanson later this month. The tourism industry is also keeping a close eye on the situation. Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) chief executive Chris Roberts said his organisation was “well aware of the issue and is working closely with the operators and with DOC to seek a sensible outcome”. “There is a meeting of the operators who use Milford Airport later this week and TIA will be having further discussions with DOC following that meeting.”

Source : Southern Advocate, 4 October 2018

03 October 2018

WAG-CHT flights

First holiday tour flight leaves Whanganui for Chatham Islands

Fortyfive holiday-makers left Whanganui airport this morning bound for five glorious days in the Chatham Islands. The special charter flight was a partnership between Air Chathams and tour operator Merv Halliday from Te Anau. It was the first time a Chatham Island's tour has departed from Whanganui. Halliday regularly charters an Air Chathams' aircraft to fly passengers from Manapouri to the Chatham Islands every summer and the suggestion was made to offer a tour package to take off from Whanganui. A first tour, scheduled for January was quickly booked out so more were scheduled for October, November and another due to leave on Boxing Day. "I believe this is the largest New Zealand tour group ever to visit the Chatham Islands," Halliday said. Air Chathams' founder Craig Emeny was piloting the Convair aircraft that would carry the passengers who are mostly from Whanganui and Taranaki. Tracy Richards from Kai Iwi said the tour appealed to her because she has heard good things about the Islands from her parents who visited 10 years ago. "The price was great too, so I had to get on board." Colin McGrail from Whanganui said he has longed to go to the Chathams since he was a child. "Dad applied for the police officer post there in the 1960s but he missed out when someone more senior applied. "I was very disappointed so I'm pleased that I finally get to go there." Sylvia Stewart from New Plymouth said the Chathams was a place she had always wanted to visit. "I retired last week and this is a perfect way to start it off." Margie Wyatt is a born and bred Chatham Islander who was offered a special deal for the tour. "I offered her a discount in exchange for helping out as a guide on the tour," said Halliday. Wyatt is now a school teacher living in Waiouru. "I have been living here for 10 years but I go back to the Chathams for visits often. "When I saw that there was an opportunity to fly from Whanganui I knew I had to go." Halliday says he first visited the Chatham Islands in 1988 and he loves it there. "I remember the pub owner banging his fist on the counter and saying 'Everyone who visits says they will come back but no bastard ever does.' "I decided to be the one who did go back and take some people with me." The passengers who boarded the plane in Whanganui will spend five days and four nights exploring the Chatham Islands before returning home on Sunday, October 7. Passports are not needed to travel to the Chathams which have officially been part of New Zealand since 1842. Bookings are still open for the tour departing Whanganui on December 26 at 3pm. The package includes flights, seven nights accommodation and eight days of guided tours at a cost of $3740 per person. More at chathamislandtours.nz

Source and for photos see : 

The first Te Anau-Chatham Island flight was flown in 2014, see 

01 October 2018

New Route No Show

It looks like Originair have shelved their new Palmerston North-Napier service at least for the time being. An Air Chathams' Metroliner operated the Nelson-Palmertson North run this morning and later the return service but it seems as if it did not head up to Napier as scheduled for the first flight on that sector. 

Originair's reservation system list full flights in the next few weeks on the Palmerston North-Napier indicating that the service may be operated.

I posted my thoughts on the new routes when they were first announced in August...

Is that an Air Chathams Plane?

Is that an Air Chathams plane I was asked on Saturday?

No, An Eva Air Boeing 777-300 is currently operating for Air New Zealand as ZK-OKT
Photo taken at Auckland on 29 September 2018

These are the Air Chathams' planes...

Air Chathams Saab 340 on the taxi at Auckland on 14 September 2018

Convair 580 ZK-CIE at Auckland on 29 September 2018

Convair 580 ZK-KFL at Auckland on 29 September 2018

30 September 2018

A new airline coming to and in NZ???

Get behind a new airline! Looking for $500,000 to the airline and you go into the draw to win free flights for the first year! (T&C's Apply)

We are in the process of starting a New airline in New Zealand to provide reliable transport at cheap prices thought New Zealand and across the Tasman to Australia!

People are sick of paying to much for Air New Zealand, their flight not taking off for Jet Star and being stuck in the middle seat.... We have solved these problems! Our business strategy has allowed us to find the balance between cheap and reliable flights and we use Embraer Aircraft which NO other airline in New Zealand uses! They have no middle seats and we will be providing business class seats on domestic flights!

Focused on providing quality service, for both locals and tourists, we have the right strategy and we want your support!

The money will be used to help secure aircraft loans, fund high quality staff training and help supply accommodation to staff.

Source : https://givealittle.co.nz/project/new-airline-in-nz

Oceania Air is advertising for flight crew and cabin crew. Funding for the airline seems to be the Give a Little Page above... no one has given even a little at present! 

So I don't think it would fly!

But I would love to see some E-jets in NZ skies!

29 September 2018


Thanks to JustPlaneMad who sent this email and pics through... He writes...

Thought you maybe interested in a couple of pics from onboard Air Wanganuis ZK-MDC, operating Originair flight OG6214 from New Plymouth to Nelson on 23 September 2018. Twice now for me, my flight has been operated by Air Wanganui. 

Origin appears to still be operating under Air2theres AOC. 'Operated by Air2there' printed on the boarding pass.

One of the Jetstreams was parked up at the gate at Nelson, the other I believe is parked up in PPQ. 

King Air was a joy to fly in for a plane buff like myself, but certainly the appeal is lost on Mr and Mrs Normal. 

There were several comments as to where the yellow plane was. Origin certainly have their Jetstreams looking very professional and inviting both inside and out. And a nice touch with the bottle of water and a few lollies :)

Unfortunately for me, with the introduction of the NPE flights, the NPL - NSN sector now departs far too late to be of any use to me :( Back to Air NZ for now :/ 

Cheers JPM

28 September 2018

Originair begins new Napier Service

Originair commenced services between New Plymouth and Napier today using Air Chathams' Metro 23 ZK-POF to inaugurate the service.

The airline is operating flights between New Plymouth and Napier on Fridays and Sundays with flights departing from New Plymouth for Napier at 2:10pm and departing from Napier to New Plymouth at 4:00pm. The flight times are 50 minutes.

On Monday the airline will start flights between Palmerston North and Napier. On Mondays and Wednesdays flights will depart Palmerston North and arrive Napier at 10:20am. On Monday the return flights depart at 11:10am and arrive at Palmerston North at 11:50am. On Wednesdays the return flight will depart at 4:00pm to arrive at Palmerston North at 4:40pm.

The inaugural New Plymouth-Napier service at New Plymouth today on 28 September 2018
Photo : Taranaki - Like No Other 

Unfortunately Originair were not able to use their own Jetstream aircraft for the new service as it seems their aircraft operator, Air2there, seems to be not operating at present.

27 September 2018

Radio NZ on Fly My Sky's New Whangārei Service

Radio NZ had an interview this morning on Fly My Sky's new Whangārei service... You can hear it here: https://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2018664310/new-airline-to-compete-with-air-nz-on-whangarei-flights

They also posted a news piece

Small airline competes against Air NZ on Whangārei flights
A small Auckland airline is about give Air New Zealand some regional competition by offering cheaper flights to Whangārei. Fly My Sky operates between Auckland and Great Barrier Island and said there was a gap in the market for cheaper flights to Northland. The family-owned arline has operated for 38 years and has four 10-seater Britten-Norman Islander aircraft. The company wanted to expand and Whangārei looked like the perfect place to start, chief executive and co-owner Keith McKenzie said. "We believe that there is not the level of service for the public up there, there are not the number of flights that there are in other parts of New Zealand, and we think there's a niche in there for someone like ourselves to ... offer some alternative services," he said. The flight from Whangārei to Auckland with Air New Zealand takes 35 minutes. Fares can dip as low as $62 for travellers booking weeks ahead, but can be almost as much as a flight to Rarotonga - nearly $400 for a return flight. Fly My Sky fares would start at $99 one way with a 23kg bag, Mr McKenzie said. Overall we will be more than competitive with the current operator." There were gaps in Air New Zealand's Whangārei schedule and Fly My Sky intended to fill them, he said. It planned to begin with two return flights a day from Monday to Friday, but could expand to four if demand was strong. Air New Zealand chief executive Chris Luxon said the national carrier offered a good service to Whangarei and competition was welcome. "It's a really great thing actually, because there's a really vibrant, secondary and smaller airline market in regional New Zealand," Mr Luxon said. Whangārei Mayor Sheryl Mai was also embracing the competition. The city was growing fast, Air New Zealand flights were often full, and Fly My Sky's 7am flight from Auckland would be especially useful, she predicted. "Some of the DHB specialists from Auckland need to get up here in plenty of time to fill the day with appointments and I'm sure there will be many people who will take advantage of being able to come up, do a full day's business and head away again in the afternoon," Ms Mai said. Fly My Sky's Whangārei service will start on 23 October.

25 September 2018

Farewell to the Mount Cook Islanders

This was taken from the Milford Sound Scenic Flights Facebook page... 

It's the end of an era here at Milford Sound Scenic Flights with the sale of the last of our twin engine Britten Norman Islanders! These aircraft were manufactured between 1970-1975, and were purchased brand new by Mount Cook Airlines to fly the Milford route. They became a beloved part of our fleet in the 1990's where they have continued to operate ever since.

Fun fact: x4 of our 7 Islander fleet were sold in 2013: ZK-ZQN and ZK-MFN went to Australia and ZK-MSF and ZK-TSS went to Germany, and we are now saying farewell to ZK-DBV, ZK-MCE and ZK-MCD who are off on their new adventure to Fiji!

Haere rā and happy travels!

Photo credit: Karl LC & Andy W

You can find photos of DBV, MCD and MCE in Mount Cook colours here...

C of A Day

Due to go through the Certificate of Airworthiness process today is Air Chathams' Saab-Scania SAAB SF340A, ZK-CIY (c/n 340A-135). 

The Saab arrived in New Zealand from Guam as N135GU on 9 January 2018, see

ZK-CIY will then join Saabs KRA and CIZ on its scheduled services from the Kapiti Coast and Whanganui to Auckland.  

ZK-CIY at Auckland on 24 October 2018
Meanwhile getting Metro 23 ZK-POE airborne is not a priority at present. Air Chathams' General Manager Duane Emeny said "POE it is a good ship with comparably low hours so will be put back on line when resources allow."

24 September 2018

Moving on...

Stripped of her Sounds Air livery Sounds Air's Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SAW is all white preparing to move on, apparently to a more northern New Zealand airline. It is currently en route to Feilding.

Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SAW at Wellington on 24 September 2018

23 September 2018

An interesting development

Noted doing Originair's flights between Nelson and New Plymouth and Nelson and Palmerston North over the last ten days has been Air Wanganui's Beech Super King Air seen below in Hamilton.

The last day Originair's Jetstreams were used seems to be 12 September. The Jetstreams are operated for Originair by air2there. An Air Chathams Metroliner was also noted in Paraparaumu last week and there was some speculation that it was operating an air2there charter...

22 September 2018

Are they still flying???

I'm wanting to keep my histories up to date and am looking to find out if anyone can help me on the status of two airlines, FlyStark and Air Auckland...  Thanks, Steve westland831@gmail.com

FlyStark started off with a hiss and roar with scheduled services from Whitianga to Great Barrier Island and Ardmore... http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2016/11/flystark-little-boutique-airline.html

They seemed al lot quiter last summer... If anyone could let me know if they observed much activity??? 

I notice now FlyStark's website is no longer active, though their Facebook page still is. 

I also note the registration of their Airvan FSR was changed to South Pacific Helicopters, Kaikoura in August.

Just for my records, can anyone confirm that FlyStark has ceased operations??? 

FlightHauraki was renamed Air Auckland May 2018, see 

FlightHauraki initially started services from North Shore to Whangarei and Kerikeri with later services to Waiheke Island and Great Barrier Island. In October 2014 it moved its base to Waiheke Island and operated services to Ardmore and Great Barrier Island.

Since the renaming of the company to Air Auckland there is no website.

Again, just for my records, can anyone confirm when FlightHauraki/Air Auckland ceased operating the Ardmore-Waiheke Island-Great Barrier services??? 

19 September 2018

Sunderland Flight to the Chathams

Yesterday Will Lawson left me a comment on the blog about flying to the Chatham Islands on an RNZAF Shorts Sunderland in response to my post on the RNZAF's service to the Chatham Islands... http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-rnzaf-pioneering-air-services-to.html

Will wrote, I flew on a Sunderland from Evans Bay to the Chathams in January 1964. I was one of a group of surveyors from the Department of Lands and Survey (Brian Wells, Tony Bates, Ian Miles and myself). There was another group of private surveyors led by Ken Wynne. We had a number of attempts at take off, but the trip took less time than usual because of a tail wind. I would appreciate if the exact date could be confirmed together with any information about the particular aircraft and crew. Will Lawson. 

It subsequently sent me another email and photos of the Sunderland at Wellington and the Chathams. The struggle to get airborne was on Wellington Harbour.  We were on forms in the bomb bay if I remember rightly and somehow the propellers were whipping up water that somehow found it’s way into the bomb bay and we got quite wet.  No complaints though – it was one of the more exciting journeys I have undertaken.

Short Sunerland NZ4120 in Wellington in January 1964...

and a little later at Chatham Islands

Will's question about the identity of the aircraft is is easily answered, from the Z on the fuselage, the Sunderland was NZ4120...

The questions about the crew and the exact date (sometime in January 1964) are something beyond my realm of knowledge or research. If anyone has information about the exact date and crew members please either email me (westland 831@gmail.com) or Will (will@foxsurvey.co.nz).

Also, if anyone has any photos of an RNZAF Bristol Freighter on the Chathams operating their post Sunderland service to the Chathams I would really love to get a copy for the blog! Cheers, Steve

11 September 2018

S8 322 from Nelson to Wellington

My return flight from Nelson to Wellington on 7 September 2018 on ZK-PDM

A glimpse at the new Nelson tower and stage one of the terminal...

A beautiful day in the South Island

Not so flash on the approach to the North Island
Mana Island coming out of the murk...

Wellington city...

Cleared to land 16

Back on the ground at Wellington