29 May 2019

ATR for Whanganui

The airline will put its new ATR 72 on the Whanganui-Auckland route for weekend flights for the next three months. The ATR 72 can seat up to 68 passengers and is used for charters around New Zealand. It is a twin-engine turboprop with six-bladed propellers, developed and produced in France and Italy.  Air Chathams general manager Duane Emeny said after nearly three years of operating the Whanganui service, peak flight schedules were now at a level to be able to support the higher-capacity aircraft. "This is a brilliant achievement for the airline to have grown demand for the Whanganui sector in such a short space of time," Emeny said. "Our success is very much due to the support and commitment of the Whanganui community from the beginning and the continued support and loyalty shown over time. Whanganui has become like a second home for us so we are really proud to bring our newest and biggest aircraft into the region over winter." The ATR flights to Whanganui will start on June 7 with a 3pm departure from Auckland. For the next few months, Friday afternoon and evening flights, Saturday's 8am flight departing from Whanganui, all Sunday flights and the 6.45am departure on Monday to Auckland will use the larger plane. The ATR charter flights will resume in September. Mayor Hamish McDouall said Air Chathams had serviced the community well since it took over the Whanganui-Auckland route. "With an increase in Whanganui's population and the interest we are getting from the rest of the country, I am not surprised that an ATR72 has been added to their fleet to assist with greater passenger demand," McDouall said. "Air Chathams helps maintain Whanganui's relationship with our biggest city, whether that be for work, to visit friends and family, or as a gate-way for international travel."

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


  1. Great use of the spare aircraft. I really do hope it is a successful trial. I really thing the sweeping cheat lines would look awesome on the ATR although from what I understand... this aircraft is just on lease isn't it?

    Almost 4 or 5 years ago Vincent aviation won the... contact? Or funding...? To operated it's Saab 340 out of Masterton due to the lack of investment needed to operate air chats metro....

    Niw air chats has a Saab 340b that's suppose to be better for short runway performance and i have noticed some photos of KRA (340a) at Kapiti (I thought it was only for the saab340b) also there is spare utilisation within the saab fleet... there is still the other Saab 340a that they brought along with the saab 340b
    Is there still need/viability for a Masterton Auckland service? Mind You, Whakatane has been earmarked for Saab flights once the runway safely extensions are done. So that would possibly have the fleet to its limit...

  2. Could use it on the morning north bound - evening south bound Mon to Fri incl from Kapiti. Very hard to get a seat on the undersized Saab...
    KRA, CIZ and CIY alternate on the WAG and PPQ routes.
    Think the runway issue is overstated. A couple of weeks ago I was walking the track alongside the runway when KRA took off for Auckland using Rwy 34 at full capacity thanks to earlier fog delays in AKL. Wind was very light NNE. Thought this will be interesting. Anti-climax - KRA lifted off about 3/4 of the way down and climbed away quite steeply. The traffic had not been stopped on Kapiti Rd but would have had to have been >200ft tall to have been an obstacle to KRA.
    Chats haven't mentioned MAS for some time. Not sure why. They are not short of spare Metroliner capacity (they have 4). Perhaps MAS DC doesn't want to guarantee them like WAK DC, Kapiti DC and WAG CC did.

    1. A normal two engine takeoff will never be limiting. Obstacles creep in for planning when you have to account for an engine failure and continue scenario.

  3. For Masterton I don't think it will ever get a replacement air service as they turned down an offer made by Air Chathams to start the AKL route 6 years ago. The council prefered Vincent at the time but they went under. So they were left with no plan B. They even turned down Sounds Air. They should change their attitude or it will stay the same situation for the Town with no air services.