23 October 2018

Whangarei Service Delayed




The Auckland airline offering cheaper flights between Whangārei and Auckland has put back its start date by a week. Fly My Sky was expecting to start the $99 flights today using 10-seater Britten-Norman Islander aircraft. But the company's co-owner Keith McKenzie said last minute hitches had delayed the launch. Signs had not been delivered and engineers were waiting for a part from Canada for one plane. The flights are now scheduled to start next Monday.

39 comments:

  1. Dont know where RNZ got the $99 flights from, they all seem to be $119. The service is a dead duck. What a complete waste of time launching what will be a short lived service. All for the 3rd Levels branching out, and exploring new territory, but this does not seem thought out, and screams failure even before it starts. What market are they trying to capture. A comfortable 35min hoon on a Q300, with easy connections, or a 45min trip on a old, aging, noisey, cramped Islander, who's airfares cost more, offer no interline ect...

    Even booking within the next few days sees fares as low as $83.00

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    1. - on Air NZ. FMS are possibly maybe trying to diversify? Barrier Air is starting to look and feel like a real professional airline now, with more modern equipment and a more positive feel. Surely that must be taking away some of FMS business?

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    2. $99 until November 9th, $119 from then onwards.

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    3. If you put in a flight that suits the business needs a business customer won't be caring about 30 odd rollers when it means a extra hour or two for commerce

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    4. My company won't let us fly on anything but Air NZ. And personal preference would be a Q300 over a BN2.

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    5. Most business travellers, reps, managers etc don't care about the cost as the companies pay regardless. They care about Koru, drinks in Koru and thier status points. $20 saving on a airfare for a sales rep in a $250m company doesn't even register. The reason for that all staff that work for multi nationals in NZ are staff, NOT shareholders. So they milk it!

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  2. The AKL to WRE route has had two airlines on it before why not again. So when you keep saying it will never work, it will fail before it starts. How do you know have you looked in a crystal ball. They must have done their homework to examine the market and have scheduled flights at different times which may suit some more than the Air NZ timings. Time will tell.

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    1. I would put money on it not working. AKL - WRE may have had 2 airlines on it before, but please tell me why there is currently only 1????

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    2. Yes, but the point being there may have been two airlines in the past, but there is a reason there is only one!

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    3. Going into the depths of why Origin Pacific failed is not relevant to this situation today or this discussion. Time will tell if this new service is a success or not. Wait and see

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    4. Jarden - if it is still operating at Christmas I will eat my hat.

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    5. Jarden - Where on earth did Origin come into this discussion. Several operators have tried WRE before. The Point with a capital P, is that in the past there has been two operators, but there is a reason there is only 1 now! It is a limited market, and FMS are a inferior operator. Agree with the above - I'll eat my hat!

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    6. Everyone here seems to be an expert at everything. A lot of NZ Dom routes have grown since the 1980s and the population of these markets have grown also. I detect some individuals on here don't want to see a competitor that sums it up.

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    7. Yep, and airlines have tried this route since the 80s and still no joy. I would hardly call it competition, more like -alternative

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    8. It is just too tough to compete against Air NZ, Jarden. Air chats have always said the golden rule on all of thier routes is that they don't compete against the national flag carrier. It is just a risk thing. Too risky with old equipment.

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    9. Jarden have you ever flown on an Islander? There is no words that I can use to describe how awful it is from a PAX point of view. Water drips on the PAX head from the roof in light rain, you can't talk to anyone , the vibration is nauseating. It feels like sitting in a Vauxhall Viva.

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    10. Haha did you ever get to try a Trislander! Hundreds of flights by that point, and the first time I've been terrified! Those Islanders are horrid little crafts.

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    11. I think that statement is a slur on Vauxhall Viva's a BN2 is much worse.

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  3. This will not work. The barrier route has always always been tough. Barrier air are better than ever FlyMySky did a great job at being the better carrier for a decade however Barrier have invested the money and I would say they will now reap the rewards. If you are in a 125/35 operation and you are not operating Caravans you will die. The BN2 has no place in modern aviation. End of story.

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    1. I think you've hit the nail on the head. Barrier have turned themselves around and significantly re-invested in the business. FlyMySky are asleep at the wheel with no new ideas or seemingly the desire to spend money.

      The WRE flight looks like they've thrown a map at a dartboard (centered on a small radius from Auckland) as they feel they need to diversify to remain viable as (I'm sure) they feel Barrier eating away at their island work.

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  4. And doesn't Barrier Air look the part now! Looking very tidy and professional. Love SDDs colour scheme. They also seem to have gotten Kaitaia to a point of progressing well. Peoples psyche to a single engine plane has changed. They are more excepting nowadays then they were in days gone by.

    But too right, the BN2s are a relic. Even Milford Sound Scenic flights have disposed of them in favour of Caravans. FMS need to wake up and start putting a proper game plan together. Otherwise it will suffer

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  5. Passing through Auckland the other day sitting on the ramp were two Caravans and a BN2. There was no comparison at all. The caravans were smart looking modern aircraft with Reliable gas turbine engines and obviously fitted with the latest electronics. The BN2 was a tired looking, piston driven relic of the steam gauge era. As a frequent flyer, I like many others no doubt, would much prefer, and do fly with an airline that has modern, safe, comfortable and reliable aircraft. Sounds Air is the perfect example of a successful commuter Airline and they have achieved that by not flying antiquated pieces of the proverbial. Great to see that Barrier has at least dragged itself into this century so that the locals in the upper North Island have modern, safe, commuter aircraft in which to fly. Well done to them and I bet they have never delayed the start of a route because they were disorganized enough to be waiting for signs and had a broken plane waiting for parts! Not a very auspicious start at all.

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  6. Anyone know how many owners of GBA have gone broke in the past? How much did GBAFOL go broke for last time - $3.5m? How much have the current owners lost so far? Maybe tortoise and hare stuff going forward? Interesting to note all of the people with no skin in the game making bold predictions. As some of the commentators have said "time will tell". I for one will be looking with interest to see what the future brings here.

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    1. How many owners of GBA have gone broke in the past is not the question I would be asking. The question I would ask is why so many in the past went broke. Flying antiquated Islanders and old cessna twins was obviously their downfall. From experience maintaining an aging aircraft is a very expensive thing indeed and so maintaining a fleet of old worn out aircraft surely must be a great way to waste money and would be a millstone around the purse strings of any operation that will surely drag it down. It seems to me that the new owners of Barrier Air have learnt from the mistakes of those before them as they got rid of the junk and have gone for a modern fleet following the sounds air model. I doubt seriously that they are losing money when they have acquired 3 caravans at a cost of what I assume is a figure in the millions. No financial institution would lend that kind of money if BA was as you suggest losing money. Investing money on modern aircraft or infrastructure is not what a company does when it is losing money wouldn't you agree. However from a business stand point sticking with old gear is usually a sign of a company that is losing money and or has no available capital to invest in modernizing their operation. Also re your analogy, in case you hadn't noticed we live in a fast paced world, old and slow no longer cuts it with the travelling public. A good lesson to learn going forward for FMS perhaps.

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    2. Interesting comments - high capital cost most likely = high debit loading and therefore cost does it not? Provided there is security behind the loan, not a problem to borrow. On your analysis above it appears you have now just written off Air Chathams with their very old aircraft which have extremely high hours on them including the 40,000+hr "new" Saabs on line. Even Air Chats mooted 737 will probably be -300 models with high hours as well so as to keep the capital cost down. As to why everyone goes broke in GA - it is because there are too many enthusiasts and very few business people involved. How long do all the 3rd level operators last? Looking in the rear vision mirror, not too long. FMS would be one of the longer ones? but who knows for how much longer

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    3. Even in this fast paced world, speed over a short distance does not actually add up to very much time saved. I would go so far as to say 5 minutes would be the best the Q300 will save over the distance to/from WRE. As to making or losing money on the Barrier route - I have yet to hear of anyone making it pay so far and if you look at the prices charged versus the distance flown when compared with the Sounds Air model, everyone on the Barrier route is going broke. The price/nm is king regardless of whether it is to London, Picton or Great Barrier Island.

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    4. It should be worthy to understand the capital costs involved is definitely paramount. Even Sounds Air's Caravans are now the older models (hence cheaper) with the latest model being sold to Barrier Air. The PC12's are all reworked ex Flying Doctor aircraft which have been purchased second hand and therefore cheap. Maybe they are more modern but capital cost has obviously been at the front of mind otherwise they would have bought all new.

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    5. FMS flying the odd box of over priced veggies and the occasional passenger to the Barrier is a lot different to what Air Chat's does. For starters they are the only option for air travel for a captive market on a very isolated island. The mainstay of their business is flying freight, tons of it not kilo's, that is a high dollar high value product namely fresh paua and crayfish. For the locals the only other option is to send it out by a small ship which when you need to service international markets is too slow. Therefore air freight is the only option for the local fishermen and they get charged a premium for it. Not many civilian airliners can carry the pallets of cargo that they carry and they modified the existing aircraft to do so hence why they probably stayed with them for so long. Either way they can charge accordingly to cover operating costs of an aging fleet. FMS and BA don't have the same luxury as the locals at Barrier will only pay so much for a bunch of bananas and the odd lettuce. Charge to much and the locals will just use the ferry which takes what an hour... which is a hell of a lot less than the days it takes to steam to the Chathams. What they choose to operate next when the current aircraft are forced out of the air will be interesting to see. The runway at the Chat's is not long enough for 737's from what I have been told so that will probably need extending. Having flown on that route it is a no frills service that is expensive for what it is but when it's your only option you take it. As for the rest of your points, yes they all may be leasing or buying higher hour aircraft but they all have one thing in common..... they are all turbo prop aircraft that offer a modicum of comfort and safety to passengers that the old piston powered, steam gauge era of plane can't offer. The PC12's and saab's are pressurized so they can fly above the crap weather so often encountered around the country and are used for the longer flights. The caravans are proving their worth on the shorter hops across water obviously since Sounds Air hasn't gone broke yet after all these years have they. Think about this and answer honestly.... if you were a passenger arriving at Auckland Airport and you collect your bags and head out to the taxi rank for a ride into the city. At the rank is a line of taxi's and the first one in line is a 50-60 year old shit box toyota with worn vinyl seats, fading paint work with no mod cons. Next in line is a falcon or a commodore that is maybe 10 years old but it looks smart, has comfortable leather seats, air bags, aircon and other modern features and most of all looks and is reliable. Which taxi will you get in? guaranteed you like every other punter will go for the newer more modern taxi because it looks and makes us feel safer and you know you will reach your destination. Now reverse that and you take a taxi to the airport to fly to the Barrier or lets say Whangarei. Passengers options are the same as my first scenario. FMS verses BA for the Barrier or Air NZ and FMS for Whangarei. Passengers will always go for the service that they feel will be reliable, safe and be a comfortable trip first and foremost. That's always going to be BA with their caravans or Air NZ and a Q300 because the planes look new, look modern and most of all look reliable. With summer coming, BA will no doubt be flying with full pax every flight to the Barrier for this very reason. Will FMS? I doubt it.... lucky for them I guess that a box of over priced veggies doesn't know the difference between riding in the back of an old hearse or a 200 series landcruiser eh!

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  7. Air NZ (Eagle) used to do up to 10 flights/day out of WRE, now down to 4 albeit with a bigger aircraft, so there may be some room for a different schedule time? I hear that the Islander may just be an iterim measure before something bigger comes?

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  8. Well that is a really silly idea. It will take a year to get a 125 certificate and in the meantime pax will try Fms once, see (or perhaps hear) the islander, then run for the hills back to the Q300. This old school way of thinking doesn't work and the old boys of GA won't realise this until they are all broke and living out of thier van at Ardmore.

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  9. The difference between a 135 vs 125 is only Security. Rest of the items are Maintenance Manuals, Part 145 Maintenance, Training. Not too much involved (if you say it fast), possibly only 3 months all up to upscale and if it has already been pre organized maybe even faster?

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  10. Reading the above seems to certainly be a one sided debate about old verses modern. I can't help but wonder about the FMS pilot when he (or she) is at Auckland loading or at the Barrier unloading the aforementioned over priced boxes of veggies and a BA Caravan comes taxiing in with a full load of passengers. Do their shoulders drop and do they turn away with a dejected look saying to themselves "I wish I was luckier and or good enough to fly for BA and one of their caravans" Must be a tad sole destroying....

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  11. haha probably that same look and feeling most club instructors get when they see a 180 or 185 taxi in to the pumps!

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  12. Since analogies seem to be rife on this page here's yet another one.... I'd hate to be that person standing in my driveway polishing my old clapped out toyota thinking it's akin to a Bentley when the neighbour pulls up in yet another late model mustang to add to his collection of daily drivers..... Watching each one's arrival is what I reckon would be sole destroying!
    It must be hard watching your competition expanding while you are struggling on with the same old gear and losing the market share no matter what business you are in.

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  13. So should Stewart Island Flights ditch their Islanders??? If so, in favour of what???

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    1. SIF will need a plane that can land on the beach at Martins Bay as well. I hate the islander down to SZS, but hate the boat 300 times more!!! At least the flight is over in 15mins!

      Would love to see SIF get some more modern kit

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