23 June 2010

Viscount Replacement - What Might have Been

The Hokitika Guardian of 27 February 1969 reports...

Visit of Fokker Fellowship to New Zealand

The Fokker F28 Fellowship, the pure-jet successor to National Airway’s jet-prop Fokker Friendship airliners, will arrive in Wellington tomorrow afternoon. During a visit of six days the Fellowship will be scrutinised by National Airways, the civil aviation division of the Ministry of Transport, the Air Force and Air New Zealand – all potential purchasers. NAC does not have an immediate interest, but it is understood to have “looked” at the Fellowship with a view to possible purchase in the late 1970s. The Air Force and civil aviation could find the Fellowship ideal as a VIP aircraft. Air New Zealand’s interest is that the Fellowship would be ideal for the Norfolk Island run. Air New Zealand is a major shareholder in two Pacific Island airlines (Polynesia and Fiji) that operate over routes where the Fellowship is far and away the best aircraft. It is to these airlines that Fokker has the best chance of making immediate sales in this area. On Saturday afternoon the Fellowship will take nearly 50 VIPs on a flight to Invercargill and back. The party, which includes the Minister of Transport (Mr Gordon), the Attorney-General (Mr Hanan) and several other members of Parliament will stop at Hokitika before flying over Manapouri to Invercargill. On the return trip the Fellowship will circle the site of the Comalco aluminium smelter at Bluff and pay a visit to Central Otago before stopping at Dunedin.

Fokker Fellowship, PH-MOL at Hokitika on 1 March 1969. The Fellowship remains the largest jet to land at Hokitika. Photo : F Lowe

No comments:

Post a Comment