16 September 2022

Originair Flight OG813 to Palmerston North PMR


JustPlaneMad continues his report on a recent flight on Originair... 

Originairs NPE Ground Handling Operations are taken care of by JNP, a common sight around most of NZs Regional Airports nowadays, go back a wee whiles though and not many people would have heard of the WHK based Company handing the Eagle 1900Ds, and then Air Chathams Metroliners. 

Currently Originair are only flying two flights a week through to Napier, on Mondays and Fridays. Flights are generally operated NSN-PMR-NPE and return, which gives Hawkes Bay and Nelson passengers excellent access to each other via a quick stop in Palmerston North. 

There is usually a 1hr 40min turnaround in Napier on the Monday flights, but after arriving late, the crew decided that we would get on our way back to Palmerston North early. In fact we left Napier over quarter of an hour early. 

On the Departures Board at Hawkes Bay Airport

Start Up at NPE

Turning Around NPE Runway 16
Lift Off from Napier

Looking North with Hawkes Bay Airport towards the mid right of picture. 

We took a far more westerly track on this flight, over the far side of the Ruahine Ranges.

Cruising altitude on the way back was around 12000ft. 

Windmills and the Saddle Road. After such a easterly track on the way down, I thought this meant an arrival into PMRs Runway 07, however a big dog leg out towards Woodville, and we made in for Runway 25.

Construction Work on the new Manawatu Gorge replacement Highway. Ashhurst just under the wing.

On Finals for PMRs Runway 25

Touchdown Palmerston North Airport after 29mins in the air.

Taxiing onto Gate 5 at PMR

ZK-JSK at Palmerston North after arriving from Napier. Have always thought Originair have a smart livery that looks good on the Jetstreams.

So two very brilliant flights with Originair from Palmerston North to Napier and back. However with only myself on the way up, and 4 of us on the way back (two continuing onto Nelson), the service is a loss maker for sure. Which makes me kind of sad. It's so nice to have such convenient direct regional connections. But with only two flights a week, and awkward timings, it's anyone's guess how long this NPE link will actually survive. The friendly Napier Ground Crew told me to "tell your friends about the service". And I guess it's only through awareness that people will actually know about the flight and consider it. At only 23mins on the way up, I was aware that I was already in Napier, where had I been driving, I would only be halfway up the potholed and now very busy Saddle Road. 

It's a tricky one for Originair for sure. I get the whole Nelson to Napier with a quick stop in Palmey deal. But people tend to be very price sensitive, especially these days. On the day I looked, Origin wanted $299.00 for a one way flight between NSN and NPE (via PMR) with just the two Departures a week. Whereas on the same day Air New Zealand had multiple flights with short transits in either Wellington or Auckland for only $169.00. A big price difference. People won't mind a Transit in say Wellington when they save that much money. Also considering that on Originairs Palmerston North transits, it seems you cannot even remain on the aircraft. You have to deplane and head inside to wait for the onwards boarding call. 

According to Originair staff the NSN link from PMR is going nicely for them, and I really hope over time that the NPE and also the HLZ service builds up for them too. A great airline, with some excellent staff, I enjoyed my quick trip up to the Hawkes Bay with them. 

Much thanks to Flight Crew Brian and Sarah, and also the PMR and NPE Ground Crews.

If your a plane nut, in the Manawatu, and looking for a couple of hours out? Book yourself a trip with Originair and go for a ride. At $49.00 each way, it's very affordable 

1 comment:

  1. An interesting read -thank you for sharing your experience and the photos. Sad it does not appear to be attracting passengers. Whanganui had the same thing a few years back when Sounds introduced what I thought was an attractive schedule between here and Wellington. I used it twice on business and found them great. However, for what ever reason locals did not support it.. I think an average of about four-maybe six passengers on the flights I took. Even with a Cessna Grand Caravan I doubt this would have been a paying load. I tried a OIA query to the district council to see what (if any) support they were offering but the said for 'commercial reasons' they would not give any detail. Some of locals said they did not like the idea of flying in such a small plane. I found the Grand Caravan great! Hope the Origin Napier service 'takes off' and doesn't go the same way as our Wellington service.