05 May 2010

Air Nelson No. 1

After looking at the first aircraft in Eagle Air's fleet last week (http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/04/eagle-beech.html) it is Air Nelson's turn this week.
On the 12th of December 1985 the Nelson Evening Mail printed a story of a new air service from Nelson... Air Nelson (formerly Associated Air) and an offshoot of its parent company flying out of Motueka aerodrome, Motueka Air, Ltd, has announced a twice-daily service between Nelson and Wellington and one return flight on Saturdays and Sundays. The new Nelson-Wellington service will be flown by a twin-engine, eight-seater Piper Navajo. The said Piper Pa31-310 Navajo was ZK-NSN (c/n 31-687).

ZK-NSN in the scheme it wore when it arrived in New Zealand with Air Nelson titles. Taken at Nelson on 20 January 1986.

The original Air Nelson timetable is somewhat more simple than today's Air Nelson schedule.

The air service began on the 16th of December 1985. The company rapidly expanded and ZK-NSN was often seen of scheduled services across Cook Strait, namely from Wellington to Nelson, Blenheim and Motueka from Nelson to Palmerston North and Westport, and from Oamaru to Timaru and Christchurch.

ZK-NSN in the familiar Air Nelson scheme at Nelson on 19 November 1990.

In December 1996 NSN was sold to Associated Airlines who took over Motueka Wellington service. ZK-NSN continues to fly for Great Barrier Airlines, primarily for their charter work.

The final Air Nelson colour scheme for ZK-NSN as seen at Woodbourne on 6 February 1996. While NSN wore Air New Zealand Link colours it never carried Link titles.

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