22 May 2010

PDF Timetables - A great way to advertise an air service and preserve a company's history

Congratulations to Soundsair which is the latest airline to put a smart looking PDF version of their timetable on their website...


For an airline enthusiast/historian the timetables of old were a must have and over the years many have been lifted from the check in counters of airports all over New Zealand. Certainly I have been one of these, but in one of those fits of madness, I had a purge of my things and a number of old ones including Capital Air Services, old Eagle Air, Air Central, Air North and so on went out with the rubbish. Nowdays I am always on the look out for old NZ airline timetables to add to the collection.

Sadly, with the cost of producing a printed timetable and the fact that they change so often many airlines no longer produce them. With the loss of the timetable comes the loss of a valuable resource of not only where and when someone can hope to see a company's aircraft, but also the loss of the historical resource of when services started and ended.

Increasingly however airlines have been putting their timetables on the net. One can ask for timetables on specific routes for a week long period on the Air New Zealand website, but there is no way to download a copy of the whole schedule. (Oh for the days of the full domestic timetable issued two or three times a year).

The most consistent of the regional airlines in putting their timetable on the web is Sunair http://www.sunair.co.nz/. They have been doing for it years... though I lament not saving some of the earlier additions. The only problem with Sunair's schedules is that it often bears no resemblence to what flies... they are just so flexible in suiting timetables to customer needs and making best use of their aircraft.

Salt Air http://www.saltair.co.nz/tt_winter.pdf and Golden Bay Air http://www.goldenbayair.co.nz/ always have niceley presented PDF files of their timetables, though Golden Bay Air don't fly through the winter and their new timetable is not expected to be on line until June.

Looking at the other NZ regional operators...

Air Chathams timetable is very simple to find but it is not in an easy format to download and save a copy... http://www.airchathams.co.nz/

Air Discovery's only scheduled service at present is to Motiti Island and the timetable just forms part of the Flight Service section of their website... http://www.airdiscovery.co.nz/tauranga/Flight-Services/motiti-island.html

Air Napier http://www.airnapier.co.nz/services.htm even though it runs a scheduled service between Napier Wairoa and Gisborne doesn't give a timetable.

air2there's timetable is not the easiest to find... It is found under the information tab http://www.air2there.com/Timetable.aspx. It is possible to see the timetable in one screen but again it is not coducive to saving a copy in a good format.

The timetables for Fly My Sky http://www.flymysky.co.nz/timetable-fares/, FlyDirect http://flydirect.co.nz/schedule.htm, Remote Adventures http://remoteadventures.co.nz/02-flights.html (Not operating a schedule over winter) and Stewart Island Flights http://www.southernair.co.nz/sections/theflight/schedule are easy to find on their sites, and a cut and paste saves a reasonable copy.

The most disappointing of all the regional operator is Great Barrier Airlines which doesn't even list a timetable.

Finally, if you are ever tempted to throw out those old timetables, drop me a line at westland831@gmail.com

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