22 June 2021

I've been everywhere man...

It was announced recently that Convair 580 ZK-CIE was to retire on 1 June 2021, ZK-CIE's last flights, however, happened much earlier. On the 1st of April 2021 it flew from Auckland to Chatham Islands as CHATHAMS 580. The following day, the 2nd of April 2021, it flew its final service from the Chatham Islands to Auckland as CHATHAMS 519.

In the latest development it has been reported on the Wings Over New Zealand site that Air Chathams are looking for a home for ZK-CIE... https://rnzaf.proboards.com/thread/29348/convair-looking-good-home-roost

Meanwhile I got to thinking where ZK-CIE has appeared in New Zealand and in the Pacific. This post collects together a history of ZK-CIE and photos of it that have featured on this blog at different airports featuring the white scheme, the no-titled green scheme and the titled green scheme.

These are just the photos that I have taken but I'd be interested if you have recorded it at other airports in New Zealand and the Pacific... westland831@gmail.com

Air Chathams are certainly much more than the Chathams! It's a pity MOTAT didn't appreciate the opportunity to preserve something of this incredible airline http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2016/01/air-chathams-30-years-on.html

Before the photos, here is her history.

ZK-CIE/2     General Dynamics Allison Convair 440/580                      c/n 399

N98G           00/01/1957     

                     00/01/1957      First flight as a Convair 440-83

                     22/04/1957      Union Oil, San Diego, CA

                     28/10/1957      Gulf Oil Corporation, Pittsburg PA

                     04/11/1961      Converted to a Convair 580

N98GL         18/03/1971      Gulf Oil Corporation, Pittsburg PA

                     30/03/1971      Rowan Drilling Company

                     01/07/1975      RDC Marine Inc, Houston TX

N57RD         25/02/1977      RDC Marine Inc, Houston TX

N565EA       15/06/1996      RDC Marine Inc, Houston TX

                     30/09/1997      ERA Aviation Inc, Anchorage, AK           

                     16/04/2005      Arrived at Palmerston North on completion of the ferry flight -

                                             Anchorage - Cold Bay - Honolulu - Christmas Island - Pago Pago

                                              - Palmerston North

                     16/04/2005      Air Chathams Ltd, Waitangi, Chatham Islands

                     13/06/2005      Registration cancelled

ZK-CIE        10/08/2005      Air Chathams Ltd, Waitangi, Chatham Islands

                     15/09/2005      Ferried Palmerston North - Auckland - Tonga on lease to Reef Air

                                             operating on behalf of Peau Vava'u, Tonga. Over the next 10 years

                                             ZK-CIE and sister Convair ZK-CIF were often ferried between

                                             Auckland and Tonga operating services there for Peau Vava’u,

                                             Air Fiji’s subsidiary, Airline Tonga, Chathams Pacific and briefly

                                             in 2014 for Real Tonga. ZK-CIE and ZK-CIF also operated

                                 services for Air Fiji domestically in Fiji and international services

                                 from Tonga to Suva (Fiji) and Suva to Funafuti (Tuvalu). 

                     01/04/2021      Final services, CHATHAMS 580, Auckland-Chatham Islands

                     02/04/2021      Final services, CHATHAMS 519, Chatham Islands-Auckland 

@AKL, 5 October 2012

@BHE, 28 October 2014 

@CHC, 29 August 2006 - note the lack of titles when it first saw service 

@CHT, 10 February 2017

@HKK, 25 September 2011

@NPE, 29 February 2008

@NLK, 24 January 2020

@WAG on 17 May 2017

@WHK, 6 November 2015

@WLG, 28 October 2016


  1. Only ones left are KFL in cargo config and CIB as Pax. Hope I can catch them when I go to AKL later this year
    .. M

    1. I saw a crane remove KFLs engines last Friday. With no party interested to give it a new purpose, might be cut up shortly.

  2. Unfortunately Cameron Convair 580 ZK-KFL was withdrawn from use on the 15th of October 2020. On the 14th of October it flew overnight freight as CHATHAMS 31 from Auckland to Christchurch returning to Auckland as CHATHAMS 32 in the early hours on the 15th. The decision to retire the Convair came from the need for a major maintenance check and the lack of a long-term freight contract.

  3. Maybe Ferrymead would like CIE to go with their Viscount and F27?