07 June 2019

Delay to ATR service

Air Chathams' introduction of its larger ATR 72 aircraft to the Whanganui-Auckland route has been delayed by a week. The 68-seater plane was due to start operating on Friday, June 7, servicing the route at weekends for three months over winter. However, Air Chathams general manager Duane Emeny said the flights would now begin on June 14 due to an administrative delay relating to the aircraft's maintenance programme. There was no issue with the airworthiness of the plane, he said. Air Chathams contracted Air NZ for the maintenance of the ATR 72 it bought in February. "The maintenance contract ran through until May 31 and an application to extend the contract was made directly to Air NZ," Emeny said. "Unfortunately the extension was received by Air Chathams later than anticipated and the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) have not been able to review the maintenance programme in sufficient time to allow the ATR to fly this weekend. This is very unfortunate as events have been planned in Whanganui to celebrate this milestone for the community. Air Chathams hopes the region will continue to support the ATR flights when they commence the following weekend on June 14."

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