16 August 2012

Eagle flights still out - Just how many Beeches are still grounded?

The effects of the Eagle Beech 1900 grounding are still continuing. Wanaka has not had an Eagle service since the initial grounding last week and their is not indication as to when the service will resume as this piece from the Wanaka Sun (16 August 2012) makes clear...

No definite date has been set by Eagle Air for the return of scheduled air services between Wanaka and Christchurch. The fleet of 18 Beechcraft 1900D aircraft used for the fligpts were wounded last Tuesday after cracks were discovered in the tail area of an aircraft. The company has now reported 11 of their aircraft fully cleared and back in service after additional inspections were made in consultation with the manufacturer. Attempts to contact Eagle Air general manager Carrie Hurihanganui were declined by the company with the Wanaka Sun directed to Air New Zealand publicity spokesperson, Brigitte Ransom. She was asked by email for a definite date of resumption of services, what passenger numbers had been like, whether there were financial difficulties affecting the service and whether there were any plans for any schedule changes or a larger plane such as a Dash 8 enabling a greater number of discounted seats. Her reply did not address the questions but reiterated what she had written in an earlier press release which said: "We are currently working through the schedule adjustments for next week which are expected to include the resumption of some flights into and out of Wanaka."

I notice a few cancellations for this afternoon on the Air NZ website including Auckland-Kaitaia, Wellington-Whangarei, Taupo-Wellington and Masterton, like Wanaka, hasn't been getting a service since the grounding started. But it is the South Island that seems to be really hammered. Hokitika's four daily Beech flights have been changed to two Q300 flights most days which may move the passengers but the overnight service is not operating. Most Eagle flights to Blenheim have been cancelled this afternoon. Vincents have at times been using two Jetstreams but one wonders if they have enough crews to keep both them in the air.

So, just how many Beeches are still grounded I wonder?!


  1. Again reiterating the need for a new type of aircraft for Eagle. How many more times does the fleet have to be grounded before theyll take some action. My flight to Timaru was cancelled the other day. They rebooked me on a Q300 flight. Seemed strange landing at such a small airport in a biggish aircraft. Also my flight out of Wanaka was cancelled, so I was rebooked on a flight out of Queenstown. NIGHTMARE!!!

  2. The article is accurate, eleven are flying with seven grounded.

  3. I'm sure if there was a 19 seat aircraft in production they would have ordered it by now. The only viable solution would appear to be to extend their orders for ATR72-600s, and either suffle the Q300s down to fill some of Eagle's routes, or buy ATR42-600s to suppliment/replace the DHC8s.

  4. As we said in a earlier post. The best option for Eagle seems to be the 30 seat Embraer Brasilier 120. Seems to be the best option for the routes Eagle operated

  5. Seems to be still seven grounded, plenty of schedule adjustments going on.