02 June 2010

Air NZ announce the departure of Flight 8242 to Takaka

Following on from the post about timetables http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/05/pdf-timetables-new-way-to-get-your-air.html this post is another interesting little historical snippet from one of my timetables...

There is only one Cessna 172 that has formed part of the Air New Zealand schedule albeit in one of its subsidiaries, Air Nelson.

Cessna 172N, ZK-EOX (172-72561), was registered to Associated Aviation (Motueka) Ltd on the 14th of August 1980. In 1985 the airline operations part of Associated Aviation (Motueka) was transferred to Motueka Air Ltd which from the 1st of August 1988 operated as Air Nelson .

The Takaka plane... Cessna 172 ZK-EOX at Nelson on 21 June 1991

The Cessna was used on Air Nelson’s scheduled six day a week service from Motueka to Takaka which was primarily for the cartage of the Nelson Evening Mail. Flight 8242 left Motueka Monday to Saturday at 2.40pm arrinving at Takaka 20 minutes later. A five minute turn around and the plane returned to Mot. Passengers were flown, space permitting (especially to Takaka) and connections were available at Motueka to and from Wellington and thence to the rest of the Air New Zealand network. Despite the fact that the timetable says it was a PAH (Piper aircraft) that flew the service it was usually ZK-EOX. This proved a good workshorse for the service, thought at times the weight of the newspapers necessitated it flying around Separation Point to Takaka run than up and over the Takaka Hill.

The Cessna was sold to Associated Aviation (Wellington) on 4 December 1996 when they took over Air Nelson's Motueka operation.
The flying of the Nelson Evening Mail to Golden Bay ended some years ago so ending a long tradition of flying the Nelson Evening Mail which went back to Golden Coast Airways and the Nelson Aero Club in the 1960s. In the North Island the last daily newspaper service was Air Discovery’s flying the NZ Herald from Rotorua to Gisborne which I’m told ended on 20 June 2008. (http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/03/discovering-air-discovery.html). In the South Island Sounds Air continue to fly the Dominion Post from Wellington to Blenheim and Nelson Monday to Saturday.

As always some questions…

• Was the Motueka-Takaka operated before Associated Aviation (Motueka)? If so who by?
• I am pretty sure the newspaper service ended at some point... Has anyone got any idea when?

Please post a comment or email me at westland831@gmail.com

Cheers, Steve


  1. Hi,
    I was one of the original pilots of ZK-EOX on the Mot-Takaka run. Immediately prior, the Nelson Evening Mail was driven over the hill by the guy who delivered them to us at Motueka subsequently. We were met at Puramahoi airstrip by 2 vehicles who delivered the papers..one to the east and the other to the west. I probably have some photos somewhere if you are interesed. Unfortunately the names of the drivers elude me at the moment.

  2. This is really interesting thanks, especially the part about the papers being trucked... I wonder what prompted the change to the plane. Can you tell me from your logbook roughly when the service started? Were any other aircraft used other than EOX? Would be very interested in a copy of the photos... would you mind if I blogged them? Thanks for your post
    Cheers, Steve

  3. Hello TTJF i flew with yous when i was 5 years old with my nana abord EOX now a pilot myself what are you up to now?

  4. Sounds Air fly The Dominion Post across the strait Mon to Sat

  5. You are right... and I knew that! I'll amend the post accordingly

  6. Very cool. I did quite a bit of training in this aircraft and then ended up at Air Nelson on the Dash 8. I didn't know this was an ex Nelson ship prior to this. Great read, thanks!