01 April 2023

Another Boeing 737 Airline Airborne


New Zealand's newest airline, Raglan Air, gets airborne this morning, with still Canadian registered, Boeing 737-200 Combi C-FFAL flying the first Raglan-Auckland flight followed by an Auckland-Raglan-Taharoa return flight. As well as providing tourists with easy access to the region the air service will carry fish and provide support for the iron sand operations at Taharoa. 

Today's flights are for promotional purposes will have a number of invited guests on board. 

The air service, which will formally commence on Monday, will operate on weekday mornings from Auckland to Taharoa with the the return flying via Raglan to Auckland. An afternoon service will operate from Auckland to Raglan and Taharoa before flying direct back to Auckland. The morning service will also operate on Saturdays and the afternoon service on Sundays. 

Raglan Air's Boeing 737-200 getting airborne from Raglan on a route proving flight earlier in the week.

The genesis for the new air service goes back to the days of the Auckland Aero Club's commerical division, New Zealand Air Charter. On 17th of July 1978 the Air Services Licensing Authority approved the addition of non-scheduled  routes to the Auckland Aero Club's licence including Ardmore and/or Auckland to Raglan and Taharoa and Ardmore and/or Auckland to Coromandel. NZ Air Charter was also granted rights to operate air charter and air taxi services from Raglan and Coromandel. 

NZ Air Charter timetable effective 1 September 1978

The Raglan and Taharoa flights were primarily to support the New Zealand Steel's iron sand mining at Taharoa. Flights operated thrice weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. A  morning flight flew from Ardmore to Taharoa and returned via Raglan and Auckland to Ardmore. A reverse schedule was operated in the afternoons. In addition to carrying  passengers, the flights were also used to carry fish to the Auckland market. 

The Coromandel flights were more tourist and local community oriented to offer a quick flight than the long drive around the Firth of Thames. These flights operated on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays and two flights were offered each day. 

The flights were still operating in 1981.

NZ Air Charter timetable effective 20 March 1981

CEO for Raglan Air, the new airline, Ms April I Foolery, told 3rd Level New Zealand that, "A lot of Raglan locals had been upset about the Raglan airfield being fenced but this was a security requirement for jet operations. Now that operations have commenced the real reason for the fencing has been revealed. Now, undoubtedly, the locals will be complaining about the noise but that is the cost of being connected to the world." 

Asked about the Canadian registration C-FFAL April Foolery said it was quite apt, Flying Fish AirLine but it is expected to go on to the New Zealand register as ZK-RAG.


  1. Very good! Had me going there for a mo...

  2. you should have said they were converting the 737 to a floatplane