19 September 2010

Tasman Pacific Connection - the Qantas New Zealand Connection

With Tasman Pacific Airline’s purchase of Ansett New Zealand and its rebranding as Qantas New Zealand in September 2000, Ansett’s regional operation, Ansett New Zealand Regional, was rebranded as Tasman Pacific Connection. This regional operation used the three British Aerospace Jetstream 32s which had been operated by Ansett New Zealand, ZK-RES, ZK-REW and ZK-REY (which was re-registered as ZK-TPC) along with two further Jetstreams, ZK-ECN and ZK-ECP which were operated by Air National. All five were repainted in Tasman Pacific Connection colours. These connected Wellington with Blenheim, Nelson, Palmerton North and Rotorua and Auckland with Rotorua. 

When Tasman Pacific Airlines went into receivership in April 2001 ZK-ECN and ZK-ECP returned to Air National who operated additional services for Air Nelson in the wake of the airline’s collapse. The three ex-Ansett NZ Regional Jetstreams eventually went to Origin Pacific, and later to Air National as follows;

ZK-RES became ZK-JSR with Origin and then ZK-ECJ with Air National
ZK-REW become ZK-JSQ with Origin and then ZK-ECR with Air National
ZK-TPC became ZK-JSU with Orign and then ZK-ECI with Air National

The flagship, Jetstream 32 ZK-TPC at Nelson on 21 September 2000
The two Air National Jetstream 32s operated by Tasman Pacific. Above, ZK-ECP at Woodbourne on 22 September 2000 and below ZK-ECN at Wellington on 15 March 2001.

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