31 March 2019

Not too many photos for March...

This is the extent of my plane spotting for the month!



The Auckland Gliding Club's Piper Pawnee ZK-CEB on 2 March 2019

Mount Cook Airlines' ATR 72-500 ZK-MCB on an early morning departure from Palmerston North bound for Auckland on 28 March 2019

Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12 ZK-PLX at Wellington on 28 March 2019

Air Chathams' ATR 72-500 ZK-MCO at Auckland on 31 March 2019

Skyline Aviation's Beech Super King Air ZK-MFT at Auckland on 31 March 2019

30 March 2019

You could call it NAC



Air New Zealand is considering merging its two regional subsidiaries with its main jet business to save costs. But one travel agent thinks it could be part of a plan to introduce jet services to some regions. In a written statement Air New Zealand said it was exploring whether there were efficiencies that could be gained by integrating its turbo prop operators Air Nelson and Mount Cook with its jet operation. "To be clear there is no plan to close these regional turbo prop airlines, or to stop flying to any of our current regional destinations, or to stop operating the Q300 and ATR turboprop fleets. We remain committed to growing our turbo prop regional services." Air Nelson, incorporated in 1979,  and Mount Cook Airlines, incorporated in 1970, are 100 per cent owned by Air New Zealand. Air New Zealand is 52 per cent owned by the New Zealand Government with the remaining shares listed on the New Zealand stock market. An Air New Zealand's ATR aircraft currently fall under the Mt Cook Airlines operation. The Mount Cook fleet consists of six 68-seat ATR72-500 and 21 ATR72-600 with eight more on order. The ATR72-500 have an average age of 17 years while the ATR72-600 have an average age of three years. House of Travel commercial director Brent Thomas said by merging the companies Air New Zealand would be able to save costs. Earlier this week the national carrier announced a range of cost cutting measures, including deferring aircraft orders, following a company wide review. The review came after the airline downgraded its profit guidance for the 2019 financial year, with profit before tax forecast to be between $340m and $400m for the year to June 30. Thomas said it was possible Air New Zealand was also looking at introducing a jet services to regional New Zealand. "The immediate thought that comes to mind is are they in discussions with any regional airports that could open them up to a jet service." A jet service between Auckland and Nelson was the most obvious choice, he said. "Nelson is incredibly busy from a regional point of view." Nelson had high levels of business passengers on early morning and late afternoon flights and was also extremely popular with inbound tourists flying into Auckland, he said. "It would certainly be popular. "Getting into Nelson sometimes can be quite hard. The services are quite full particularly during the inbound tourism season." Having a jet service the route would result in fewer weather-related delays, something commonly experienced in Nelson, he said. Queenstown was a good example of a region that had successfully converted from turbo prop services to jet services, he said. Savage, spokesman for the aviation workers union E tū, said it had cabin crew collective agreements with Air Nelson and Mount Cook. Air Nelson crew reached new collective agreements at the end of 2018 and Mount Cook cabin crew were currently in bargaining. Historically Air New Zealand regional crew did not work across both the company's airlines, he said. "If Air New Zealand decide to merge or restructure their regional airlines we will of course talk to them about doing that in a way that improves both conditions for cabin crew and the schedules available to the travelling public."

Forget a 12 April Restart


There has been yet another deferral of a restart date for Originair - It is now 1 May 2019.

For a full history of the restart saga see http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2019/03/ghost-air.html

24 March 2019

Whale Spotters

More of Matthew's photos from last week...

At Omaka on 19 March 2019 was Wings Over Whales' Gippsland GA8 Airvan ZK-FSR
At Kaikoura on 19 March 2019 was Air Kaikoura's Gippsland GA8 Airvan ZK-EHS
Air Kaikoura's Cessna 172 ZK-JCT at Kaikoura on 19 March 2019

South Pacific Helicopters' Eurocopter EC130 ZK-HBE at Kaikoura on 19 March 2019

Kaikoura Helicopter's Robinson R44 ZK-HKK at Kaikoura on 19 March 2019



20 March 2019

20,000 people later and two more flights




Six Months And 20,000 People Flying with Air Chathams

Air Chathams has hit the six month mark for its Kāpiti – Auckland route after starting services on the 20th August 2018. The Kāpiti Coast community has welcomed the airline with open arms. Initial flight schedules have settled after initial trials of flights that had not been offered previously to gauge the community’s appetite for those services. Air Chathams is flying 26 flights a week, 7 days a week and as expected the most popular flights are the early morning flight to Auckland and return evening service to Kāpiti Airport to cater for business travellers. During those first six months, the Kāpiti Coast community has backed the airline with 911 flights flown for the period, carrying approximately 20,000 people. Initial discounted fares attracted many to the airline and the average price for a fare for the first six months of operating is under $140 each way. Positive feedback and comments have reached Air Chathams through Facebook reviews and comments and Duane Emeny, General Manager, is happy with how the service is developing.

Source : Air Chathams Media Release

And now there are more flights coming...

Air Chathams' Facebook page have announced they are putting on more flights. "Flights in and out of Paraparaumu are proving popular for the weekends so we need more seats. As a result Air Chathams' is trialling two extra flights starting Saturday 27th April." The additional flights will be operated by Saab 340 aircraft.  

Saturdays 
Auckland to Paraparaumu, flight number 3C654, leaving at 2:30pm arriving at 3:55pm.

Sundays
Paraparaumu to Auckland, flight number 3C657, leaving at 11:00am on arriving at 12:25pm.  

On the 24th of December 2018 Air Chathams cut the weekday morning Auckland-Kāpiti Coast and late morning Kāpiti Coast-Auckland flights. These flights were introduced  based on Air Chathams' Whanganui and Whakatāne schedules. However, they were flight timings not previously offered by Air New Zealand and the uptake was poor so they were discontinued. It will be interesting to see if these are reintroduced in the future as Air Chathams continues to bed its service 



New Marlborough Machines

Thanks to Matthew for these photos of two new Marlborough-based aircraft

Gippsland GA8 Airvan is going into service for Pelorus Air. Photo taken at Omaka on 19 March 2019.

Newly arrived Pilatus PC12 VH-YWO. It flew from Wellington to Omaka as Sounds Air Oscar on 12 March 2019.
Photo taken at Omaka on 19 March 2019.

16 March 2019

Standing with Christchurch



The tragic attacks from Christchurch have shocked me as they have shocked the nation.

Let us remember in solidarity those who were injured and killed, for their families and for all those who have traumatised by the event in Christchurch.

A sad reality of many of the Muslim community in New Zealand is that came here escaping violence and war.

Now that violence and wanton disregard of human life has followed them here.

Let's remember that hateful talk leads to hateful actions.

Instead let us talk words of peace so that our nation maybe a land of peace


15 March 2019

Sunair's Winter Schedule



Sunair has announced the resumption of flights between Gisborne and Tauranga and/or Hamilton. The flights will operate two return flights on Thursdays and Fridays.

At the same time the frequency of flights between Whangarei and Tauranga and/or  Hamilton  have been reduced to one return flight on Thursdays and Fridays.

The frequency of flights between Tauranga and Whitianga and/or Great Barrier Island have been reduced to one return flight on Fridays and Sundays.

The new schedule is effective from the 1st of April 2019.





14 March 2019

Ghost Air


Yet again Originair has delayed the restart of operations...

On the 10th of December 2018 this blog reported that no Originair flights were operated over the previous weekend and no flights could be booked for flights until the 19th of December. 

Then, on the 21st of December 2018 this blog reported that no flights had been operated on 19th...


On the 15th of January 2019 this blog reported that the resumption of services had been pushed out to the 22nd of February.


On the 13th of February this blog reported that the resumption of services had been pushed out to the 22nd of March.

Originair's website is now taking bookings for flights on and from the 12th of April 2019. No statement has been made on the company's website or Facebook page about these delays. 

However, in a move than indicates something might be happening Originair's BAe Jetstream 31, ZK-JSH, did fly to Palmerston North on Tuesday the 5th of March 2019.

12 March 2019

Pilatus Number 6



Flying across the Tasman on Saturday was the ex Australian Royal Flying Doctor Service Pilatus PC12 VH-YWO.

Today it flew from Wellington to Omaka as SOUNDS AIR OSCAR (SDA O).

Sounds Air currently operate 5 Pilatus PC12s, ZK-PLS, PLT, PLV, PLX and PLZ

Newly arrived Pilatus PC12 VH-YWO. It flew from Wellington to Omaka as Sounds Air Oscar on 12 March 2019.
Photo taken at Omaka on 19 March 2019.

11 March 2019

Associated (and others) on the Chathams

Thanks to Hugh Rennie for sending through the two photos and others of aircraft at the Chatham Islands... Hugh writes, These are from 1990 and show Association Aviation aircraft which we chartered to take board members and others to the Island for meetings during the establishment of the Chatham Islands Enterprise Trust.  The first photo of Cessna 402 ZK-DSB dates from mid-1990 and shows the Cessna 402 having top-up fuel. The second photo of Cessna 421 Golden Eagle ZK-DCN was in September 1990 when one of the persons travelling was the then MP for Lyttelton Dr Peter Simpson (suit and beard). The other person in that photo was a shipping expert Mr George Ritchie.




There are more of Hugh's photos that he has sent me at the following links...

The aircraft at the Chathams for the opening of the current Tuuta airport...
http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2012/05/chatham-islands-index-of-posts.html


Safe Air's Bristol Freighter ZK-CRK at Hapupu aerodrome
http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2014/05/flying-safe-to-chathams.html


Air Charter (Christchurch)'s Piper Aztec at the Chathams
http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2014/09/air-charter-christchurch.html

10 March 2019

Dorniers Over Hawkes Bay - Astral Air Services' Tranzair Operation





Astral Air Services Ltd was formed on 29 April 1987 as a wholly owned subsidiary of S. M. Andrews and Associates Ltd who, among other company activities, were the Dornier agent for New Zealand. Astral Air Services were keen to introduce German-built Dornier aircraft to New Zealand and with Ansett New Zealand seeking to develop regional feeder services Astral approached Ansett to explore the possibility of operating regional routes under Ansett New Zealand’s Tranzair brand. The approach met with a favourable response and to assist the development of the new airline Ansett New Zealand’s David Squires was appointed as the company’s chief executive. As well as Astral Air Services operating an airline service they were also contracted to take over the oversight and management of the entire Tranzair franchise including the Cook Strait services operated by Rex Aviation and the Whangarei service operated by Northern Commuter Airlines. At this time Bell Air and Waterwings also flew under the Ansett umbrella but retained their own names.

Astral had no financial links with Ansett and so it was an ambitious project for the company to bring three new Dorniers into the country with a value of some $17 million. The company’s first two aircraft were 19-seat Dornier Do.228 Series 212s, ZK-TRA and ZK-TRB. These aircraft were ferried to New Zealand from Munich via Athens, Luxor, Muscat, Dubai, Bombay, ­Madras, Phuket, Singapore, Bali, Darwin, Mount Isa and Brisbane and they arrived in Auckland on Anzac Day, the 25th of April 1991. 


A publicity postcard of Dorner 228-212, D-CDOB, which became ZK-TRA

The Dorniers were powered by two Garrett TPE 331 engines and Astral Air Services’ chief pilot Frank Roach described the aircraft as "very manoeuvrable, light on the controls and very responsive." The Dornier was a fast, high wing aircraft which gave passengers good views. But they were unpressurised and for a centre like Napier which was used to pressurised aircraft this did not garner passenger appeal. The aircraft also STOL capability for airports with short runways but this feature was not needed for the services to and from Napier. Maintenance was provided by Rex Aviation in Wellington.


Tranzair's first two Dornier 228 Series 212 aircraft, ZK-TRA (above) and ZK-TRB (below).
Photos taken at Ardmore on 6 July 1991
 


Scheduled services began on the 5th of May 1991 with Ray Hector and Alan Thrower flying ZK-TRA from Auckland to Napier as ASTRAL 511 and returning to Auckland as ASTRAL 512. Meanwhile, ZK-TRB under the command of Rick Moloney and Gerry Brown operated from Wellington to Napier as ASTRAL 512 and from Napier­ to Wellington as ASTRAL 515. Initially four return weekday flights were operated each weekday between Napier and both Wellington and Auckland with three weekend flight.


Astral Air Services' Tranzair timetable with the initial schedule effective from the the 5th of May 1991 and the expanded schedule from the 3rd of June 1991
 


A third aircraft, a smaller 15-seat Dornier Do.228 Series 101, ZK-TRD, arrived at the end of May 1991. It had been the intention of Astral to provide services connecting Napier and Wellington with the Chatham Islands. On 30 May 1991, ZK-TRD operated a Wellington-Napier-Chatham Islands on a route proving flight. The following day the aircraft flew the reverse route. Nothing came of the Chathams plan.

With ZK-TRD in service the frequency of flights was increased from the 3rd of June 1991. The new schedule saw six weekday return flights between Napier and Auckland with four return flights on Saturdays and Sundays. The new schedule between Napier and Wellington had six weekday return flights timetabled. On Saturdays four flights were flown from Napier to Wellington with three return flights. On Sundays four flights from Napier to Wellington and five return flights were offered.

However, the service did not grow as expected. On the 20th of June 1991 a report to the directors of Astral Air Services indicated the company was in such serious debt that Astral ceased services on the 26th of June 1991. The final flights operated on that day were for ZK-TRA, ASTRAL 532 from Wellington to Napier, for ZK-TRB, ASTRAL 528 from Wellington to Napier and ASTRAL 527 from Napier to Wellington and for ZK-TRD ASTRAL 529 from Auckland to Napier and ASTRAL 528 from Napier to Auckland. The aircraft all then ferried to Ardmore before their return to Germany.


Tranzair's smaller  Series 101 Dornier 228, ZK-TRD at Ardmore on 6 July 1991

At the time of Astral's failure Peter Bullick was Ansett New Zealand's National Manager Passenger Services with responsibility for all Airport ground handling activity (engineering excepted) on the Ansett and Tranzair network. Peter writes, I recall getting a midnight call from Ansett's then Chief Executive, Garry Smith, asking me to drive through the night from Auckland to Napier, find myself a motel and sit by the phone for further instructions. The phone went around 7.00am with Garry telling me to get to the airport and, well, protect our interrests. It was a bit chaotic. People who were owed money had gotten wind of the foreclosure and were trying, variously, to either recover or secrete equipment etc. Things kicked up a notch when the first Air New Zealand aircraft (ironically a 737) arrived with creditors from as far away as Christchurch. Creditors made claims to the order of $2.145 million. Prominent among the creditors were Flight Care of Napier, the Park Royal in Wellington, Rex Aviation (to the tune of ($675,450.20), Diners Club International, Dornier Luftfathrt and Wellington Airport. 

On speaking about reasons for the airline’s collapse Astral Air Services’ chief executive David Squires blamed a failure by investors to front up with promised money and also that Astral had been crowded out of existence by Air New Zealand, Air Nelson and Mount Cook Airlines putting on extra services through Napier. In addition to these reasons Brian Lockstone, Ansett external relations manager, told NZ Wings that the establishment costs were very high, "in excess of budget. An airline needs tremendous resources and resilience at first. It didn't generate the volumes of traffic that were expected.” Part of the reason for this was undoubtedly the choice of aircraft. The Dornier was chosen because Astral was the agent, rather than choosing the right aircraft for the route. Hawkes Bay passengers were used to pressurised aircraft with cabin crew on flights to Auckland and Wellington. Astral’s unpressurised Dorniers cruised at 10,000 feet for up to an hour did not give passenger appeal, especially in inclement weather.

In the aftermath of the collapse of the 53-day airline Ansett once again took over the operational control of Tranzair.





08 March 2019

Jetstar's Otago Changes



Jetstar is dropping its poorly performing Wellington to Dunedin route in favour of increasing flights between the capital and Queenstown. The airline has announced it will suspend its three weekly return flights between Wellington and Dunedin with the final service on Wednesday May 29. But it will increase flights between Wellington and Queenstown as it adjusts its New Zealand schedule to match market demand.  Jetstar's chief customer officer Catriona Larritt said the airline regularly reviewed its schedule to ensure its frequency aligned with when customers wanted to fly, and Queenstown was a major drawcard for both domestic and international tourists.  "Jetstar re-entered the Wellington-Queenstown route 12 months ago with three services a week and from late October this year we'll double that to six return weekly services," Ms Larritt said. The three additional Wellington-Queenstown services  available for booking from Friday afternoon will include sale fares from $35 one way, and regular lead-in fares from $84.  Larritt said Jetstar's Auckland-Dunedin schedule of eight return services a week was unchanged, but she said the Wellington-Dunedin flights had not performed to expecations.   "We've been operating on the route for nearly three and half years and we've appreciated the support we've received from local travellers and airports, however the route has not performed as we'd hoped."  Passengers with bookings beyond 29 May will be contacted within the coming days and offered alternative services via Auckland or a full refund.

04 March 2019

Extended Kaitaia Schedule Commences



Barrier Air commenced its new schedule between Auckland and Kaitaia today. Barrier Air have increased their flights to the northern centre by 6 flights a week giving Kaitaia a daily service. The first of the new flights was operated by ZK-SDC flying from Auckland to Kaitaia as GB615 and the return flight from Kaitaia to Auckland as GB616. Barrier Air's CEO, Nick Pearson, told 3rd Level NZ, "The additional flights have been met with real positivity in Northland and bookings are tracking as planned." 

Barrier Air's Kaitaia schedule is listed below...

Route                       Flight       Dep        Arr

Monday
Kaitaia-Auckland GB612 0650 0755
Auckland-Kaitaia GB615 1100 1205
Kaitaia-Auckland GB616 1240 1345
Auckland-Kaitaia GB619 1815 1920

Tuesday
Kaitaia-Auckland GB612 0650 0755
Auckland-Kaitaia GB619 1815 1920

Wednesday
Kaitaia-Auckland GB612 0650 0755
Auckland-Kaitaia GB615 1100 1205
Kaitaia-Auckland GB616 1240 1345
Auckland-Kaitaia GB619 1815 1920

Thursday 
Kaitaia-Auckland GB612 0650 0755
Auckland-Kaitaia GB615 1100 1205
Kaitaia-Auckland GB616 1240 1345
Auckland-Kaitaia GB619 1815 1920

Friday
Kaitaia-Auckland GB612 0650 0755
Auckland-Kaitaia GB615 1100 1205
Kaitaia-Auckland GB616 1240 1345
Auckland-Kaitaia GB619 1815 1920
Kaitaia-Auckland GB620 1935 2040

Saturday
Auckland-Kaitaia GB615 1100 1205
Kaitaia-Auckland GB616 1240 1345

Sunday
Auckland-Kaitaia GB615 1100 1205
Kaitaia-Auckland GB616 1240 1345
Auckland-Kaitaia GB619 1815 1920



An Aztec coming to a town near you???


This from Sunair's Facebook page...

With the warmer weather winding down and the cooler weather on it's way, our Winter flight schedule will soon be released. Keep your eyes peeled for a few changes to come. P.S - We're adding another town for you to travel to and from. Any guesses where this might be? 🤔🛩

East Coast Passenger Services Locked In


Following a four-week “soft launch” running passenger flights between Gisborne and Napier, Air Napier has finalised its regular schedule, with six flights a week between the two cities locked in. Air Napier chief executive Shah Aslam said two flights a day would now operate every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, with flights leaving Napier for Gisborne in the morning and a return flight setting out from Gisborne in the early evening. “That’s where the demand was during the soft launch. There was a lot of positive feedback but most of the bookings we received were centred around Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It also means that if they go down on Tuesday they can stay overnight and get a flight back to Gisborne.” Mr Aslam said there had been solid demand over the soft launch period, with between 18 to 20 flights averaging about 80 percent occupancy. “We received a lot of positive feedback and that’s what it’s all about. These flights are not only about saving time but increasing productivity in Gisborne.” Mr Aslam said with companies spending up to $1000 a day per staff member on road travel, accommodation and food, the flights would also keep money in the Gisborne economy. “Take 1000 people across several years — that’s $1 million.” Chief operating officer Mike Brown said the airline had also picked up a lot of additional charter work from Gisborne companies wanting to fly elsewhere in the North Island. The Gisborne business community has definitely been affected positively. For example, a transport company needed to charter a flight urgently to fix a truck. Without a flight that meant that truck would have been out of action for 48 hours. That’s the efficiency this sort of service brings in.” Mr Brown said the airline also expected positive spin-offs from Air New Zealand’s new cheaper regional passenger flights to Wellington and Auckland. Mr Aslam agreed that Air New Zealand’s announcements last week were all positive for Air Napier. “If anything I think Air New Zealand should reach out to people like us and work with us to connect people better.” The timetable for the month of March is on the Air Napier website and people can directly book from there.


Air Napier's freight and passenger schedule is listed below...

Monday
Gisborne to Napier @ 5.00pm

Tuesday
Napier to Gisborne (FREIGHT ONLY) @ 6.00am
Gisborne to Napier @ 8.00am
Napier to Gisborne @ 4.00pm
Gisborne to Napier @ 5.00pm

Wednesday
Napier to Gisborne (FREIGHT ONLY) @ 6.00am
Gisborne to Napier @ 8.00am
Napier to Gisborne @ 4.00pm
Gisborne to Napier @ 5.00pm

Thursday
Napier to Gisborne (FREIGHT ONLY) @ 6.00am
Gisborne to Napier – Thursday @ 8.00am
Napier to Gisborne - Thursday @ 4.00pm
Gisborne to Napier - Thursday @ 5.00pm

Friday
Napier to Gisborne (FREIGHT ONLY) @ 6.00am
Gisborne to Napier - Friday @ 5.00pm

Saturday
Napier to Gisborne (FREIGHT ONLY) @ 6.00am



01 March 2019

Air Vanning to Golden Bay



From a single workhorse to an expanding fleet of light aircraft, local scheduled air service provider Golden Bay Air has recently increased capacity to meet growing demand. Their brand new $1.2 million eight-seat single-engine GA8 Airvan, which had its maiden flight just a few weeks ago, is already clocking up the hours flying passengers on all the routes. "We bought this larger plane primarily for our local services between Nelson, Takaka and Karamea, as well as our scenic flights over Golden Bay," says co-founder Lisa Sheppard. "Our aim was to schedulise the routes and use the plane to full capacity rather than making multiple trips in smaller aircraft. But we've also been using it to fly passengers in from Wellington as well." With adventure tourism on the rise and many great walks booked up months in advance, interest in other walks like the Heaphy Track and the Old Ghost Road is growing. Mountain bikers are also interested in these tracks and the company can carry up to six bikes into Karamea. "We're attracting tourists who want to get off the beaten track and discover the real New Zealand, and Golden Bay has exceptional scenery that few people get to experience," says Lisa. It is fitting that GB Air has partnered with local not-for-profit organisations Ekos and the Rameka Forest Carbon Project to enable passengers to offset their emissions and help reforest and protect Golden Bay's 91 Ha indigenous forest. "In our view, climate change is a local problem and should be solved locally," Lisa says. Lisa and partner Richard Molloy started their unique operation in 2006 flying passengers between Wellington and Takaka with their six-seat single-engine Saratoga. Since then, they've added a four-seat Piper Archer and a six-seat twin-engine Piper Seneca that can fly in tougher weather using the GNSS instrument approach procedure they invested in for Takaka Aerodrome. The pair have been working hard with the Nelson Regional Development Agency as well as attending TRENZ in an effort to bring people into Golden Bay; particularly those who are time poor but have money to spend on day trips and personalised tours. Their aim, says Lisa, is to boost this high-value tourism market in Golden Bay. "We've put together some fly-cruise day and multiday tours where we bring people across from Nelson or Wellington, fly them on our morning scenic flights, then take them to Te Waikoropupū Springs and into Takaka for lunch. If overnight, they can take one of our rental cars. We then shuttle them to Totaranui to catch a scenic cruise to Nelson. We've been doing quite a few of these already through the inbound tourism operators," she says. "The demand is there, and we are poised for growth. But there is a lot to do to take the business to the next size up. Attracting specialist aviation operations management staff to Golden Bay is one of our challenges, and we're working hard with an international aviation agency to help us find the staff we need for the next stage of development. "You have to be extremely dogged to run an aviation service in NZ," she laughs. "We're into our 14th year and we love it. It's fantastic to provide something that people need." 

To see the photos see : http://www.gbweekly.co.nz/the-gb-weekly-news-archives/1-march-2019/#1-march-19/page6-page7

Golden Bay Air's Airvan at Wellington on 25 February 2019

The Ups and Downs of Flying to New Plymouth




While Air New Zealand has dropped its fares to and from New Plymouth, Jetstar, its biggest domestic rival, has cut the number of flights to the city. This week the national carrier announced it was immediately cutting entry level airfares by up to 50 per cent on 41 domestic routes in what was described as the airline's biggest pricing shake-up in more than 10 years. The move resulted in some fares to and from Wellington or Auckland being reduced to $39 one way, while some flights to and from Christchurch have dropped to $49 each way. Meanwhile Jetstar has announced it's cutting the number of weekly return flights from Auckland to New Plymouth from 14 to nine starting in May but would still be offering competitive fares on the route, which is currently priced from $29 one way.  "We will be making the most of the opportunity to grow the number of visits to Taranaki," Holdom said in a statement. "Being able to get return fares to Auckland and Wellington for $80 and to Christchurch for $100 is also great news for the people of Taranaki as it puts us closer to both holiday destinations and business opportunities without blowing the budget." Holdom said he had spoken with Air NZ about how to leverage the opportunity the reduced fares represented to grow the region's tourism economy as air travellers were the kind of visitors who would help grow business and employment opportunities. "With Venture Taranaki and Air NZ collaborating with the PRIP (our airport company), we can grow the high value visitor market to help our rapidly growing tourism sector." A Jetstar spokesman said the airline closely monitored its markets and seasonally adjusted its schedule to match when customers wanted to fly. "We've reduced some of our regional flying in autumn and winter this year to align our capacity with seasonal demand in quieter travel months." He said in the summer peak travel season Jetstar offered 14 return flights a week between New Plymouth and Auckland, which would continue during the peak school holiday periods between May and September. "Outside the holidays we'll operate a daily return New Plymouth-Auckland service with an additional return service on Friday and Sunday (nine return services a week.)" The airline would continue to offer competitive fares on the route with fares currently on offer from $29 one-way, he said. Other regional routes would also operate an off-peak schedule from May-September, with between two and three fewer weekly return services than last winter outside the holiday periods.


Jetstar have also reduced flights to Napier, Nelson and Palmerston North over the winter period

Titled ATR

Thanks to MRC Aviation, http://mrcaviation.blogspot.com/, for these photos of Air Chathams' ATR 72 ZK-MCO which now carries Air Chatham's titles behind the cockpit and and a Tauck Tours logo at the rear of the aircraft. Photos taken at Auckland on 28 February 2019