26 January 2015

Alliance at Manapouri

A private Australian charter company had its inaugural touchdown at Te Anau Airport Manapouri last week. An Alliance Airlines Fokker 50 made its first trip to Fiordland on Tuesday, a training run for staff before tours commence. Alliance Airlines chief operating officer Lee Schofield said they would be conducting the tour twice a week. "Primarily the aircraft is over there for a series of charters for Tauck, a fairly prestigious inbound U.S. tour company." he said. "It is exciting, certainly for us and I daresay for a few of the communities on the route as well." There was potential for New Zealand staff to be recruited once the airline found its feet. and the Fokker 50 would also be available for private charters on its off-days. Mr Schofield said. "There will be some down times and the aircraft will remain in New Zealand for the next four years," he said. "Initially we're crewing from our Australian employees for pilots and flight attendants, but all other services we've contracted New Zealand companies to handle that. Ground handling at Te Anau is all locals." Te Anau Airport Manapouri manager Evan Pearce said the first official tour had touched down on Saturday. They call it the little Fokker," he said. Alliance had remarked at how professional the service on the ground at Manapouri had been. and the potential for further New Zealand staffing as well as private charters was exciting, Mr Pearce said. At this stage they come into Manapouri at about half past five, then they fly directly to Auckland. If we can get the aeroplane to stay overnight that would give more options to locals." Alliance Airlines replaced Air Chathams as the provider contracted with Tauck Tours. a company offering a 10-day package visiting Wellington, Blenheim. Manapouri, Queenstown. Rotorua. and Auckland. Charter inquiries for the Fokker 50 can be directed to charter@ allianceairlines.com.au or by phoning +61 7 3212 1212 

Source : Fiordland Advocate, 22 January 2015

For photos of the Fokker 50 see


  1. No points for usage of spelling or grammar there - what a mess!

  2. No doubt Pearce will be seeing how many manuals he can write for this new venture.