14 February 2010

Goldfields Air

Photographed at Taieri on 6 February 2010 was Beech V35 Bonanza ZK-EDJ. This aircraft was used by Goldfields Air to inaugurate its non-¬scheduled services between Alexandra and Christchurch in May 1985. The company initially offered a six day a week service but from 1 August 1985 the company flew daily, landing at Wanaka as required.

Beech Bonanza ZK-EDJ at Christchurch on 21 January 1985 before the scheduled service commenced. Did it ever carry Goldfields Air titles?

The company had always intended to operate an IFR scheduled service and so imported a Piper Pa31-310 Navajo, VH-TRP previously used by the Victorian state premier from Australia that become ZK-JGA. The Navajo, reregistered ZK-JGA, was introduced to the Alexandra service in October 1985.

Piper Navajo ZK-JGA taken at Christchurch on 9 April 1986
On 2 April 1986 the company moved its base to Christchurch and inaugurated a morning Christchurch-Wellington return service with the Navajo then continuing on to Alexandra, Wanaka and Queenstown. The following month, on 1 May 1986, Goldfields Air launched a twice daily Christchurch-Nelson service. However the company had liquidity problems and suddenly ceased its services on 29 July 1986. The collapse of Goldfields Air came close on the heels of the failure of air Albatross and the withdrawal of Wairarapa Airlines on the Nelson-Christchurch sector. At that time Goldfields Air’s Nelson agent, Mr Winston Williamson of the Nelson Travel Agency Ltd, told the Nelson Evening Mail, "It is very easy to start an airline and very easy to stop an airline but it is very hard to do the bits in between."

Navajo ZK-JGA went on to serve other regional airlines, namely Coast Air, Air Nelson and Air Marlborough. It is currently operated by Air Charter Manawatu.

Can anyone help? According to Goldfields Air’s timetable of 1 May 1986 the company needed two aircraft to operate their services from Christchurch to Nelson and Wellington. Did they ever use a second aircraft? If so what was the registration?

See further details at http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/02/goldfields-air-more-details-emerge.html

1 comment:

  1. Piper PA32R-300 Cherokee Lance ZK-EIB was also registered to Goldfields Air from 15Oct81 to 11Feb82.
    What part in the operation did this aircraft play?