20 July 2018

Whakatane Saab Trial

Air Chathams advises that it will be utilising its SAAB 340A airliner to provide an introductory Auckland-Whakatāne scheduled flight service this weekend. The airline is waiting on the extension of Whakatāne Airport’s runway end safety areas from the current 90 metres to 240 metres before it can use the larger, faster and more comfortable SAAB on a regular basis for peak demand daily services. That work has now been given funding approval to proceed and the joint airport owners, the Whakatāne District Council and Ministry of Transport, have indicated that the work will be progressed as quickly as possible. The SAAB will fly the Auckland-Whakatāne scheduled service, arriving at 2.30 pm on Saturday, and will return to Auckland flying the Sunday morning service leaving at 9.30 am. Renowned for its reliability and performance, the SAAB 340 caters for up to 34 passengers (compared to 19 on the airline’s Metroliner lll aircraft), offers a flight attendant service (in addition to the pilot and co-pilot) and cruises at a rapid 470 km/hour (450 km/hr for the Metroliner). It’s roomy cabin and comfortable seats also offer a superior customer experience, while the availability of an on-board toilet ensures passengers won’t get ‘caught short’. Air Chathams General Manager Duane Emeny says the introductory service will allow passengers to experience the level of comfort the airline hopes to be offering on a regular basis before the end of 2018. “We know our regular fliers will appreciate the extra cabin comforts provided and look forward to the SAAB becoming a permanent feature, boosting capacity on our peak, daily scheduled services.”


  1. I remember reading those old Air nz timetables, wernt the metros faster than the Saab? I remember the metro being the fastest then the Saab then the Banderatie. Maybe I read it wrong or it was a typo.
    Interesting news exciting if it succeeds and grows. Is there still life and opportunities with the metro? It's still supplementing the Saab between peak times isn't it? if (ofcource) the Saab 340 becomes a success.

  2. I didn't miss read things when I was a little kid. Found on wiki. Metro cruise speed is 515 kph Saab is 467kph

  3. Metro could be a fit for Whakatane Wellington.