07 September 2015

The North Shore Air service - will it work?

flyernzl left this comment on the post "Another new airline??? - North Shore Air": Salt Air tried the 'Minivan down the bus lane from North Shore airfield to the city centre' caper a while ago. It didn't last.

So what is flyernzl talking about???

From 2008 to 2012 Salt Air ran an air service from Kerikeri and Whangarei to North Shore where passengers could tranship to or from a minivan to the Auckland CBD which used the North Shore busway. Salt Air talked about 1 hour to travel from Whangarei to the Auckland CBD and I think 1 hour 40 from Kerikeri. I am not sure how it panned out in rush hour but certainly the service was a lot more desirable than a journey to and from Northland in rush hour. While it was an interesting and innovative service it didn't attract the numbers and in 2012 the service was sold to FlightHauraki.

FlightHauraki changed the service by basing their aircraft at North Shore rather than Kerikeri. This resulted in a plummet in passenger numbers and their service only lasted 3 1/2 months ending in February 2013. 



So was it the minivan that didn't work or the air route??? I flew from both Kerikeri and Whangarei to North Shore with Salt Air and then took the van to the CBD - it was pretty quick but it was the evening service! I'm not sure how it panned out with the southbound morning rush hour traffic and northbound return in the evening. Clearly people didn't rate it as it didn't really grow.

So how will the new North Shore Air service pan out? The big advantage I see for North Shore Air is people from North Shore wanting to get to Tauranga and back in a day battling two lots of rush hour traffic... Some one made this comment on the blog the other day... Have to say it took me 2 hours 25 minutes to drive from North Shore airfield area to Sylvia Park yesterday in the traffic. If they can get the local support, it looks like decent alternative for those of us living and working up the top end of town. I suspect rush hour flights between Auckland International and Tauranga are not cheap... so here we have 45 minute flights between North Shore and Tauranga without having the battle of the Harbour Bridge and Auckland motorway traffic jam nor parking fees at Auckland International. I think it could really work out quite well if they can get the word out there.

I don't, however, think the Kerikeri service as in the present schedule will be a winner. I see in their press release they are getting a Chieftain so maybe they will offer a better service to Kerikeri.

The only other comment I would suggest is perhaps basing the aircraft at Tauranga and Kerikeri... Getting to North Shore by 7.45 gives a good time to get to the CBD while out bound passengers would be in Tauranga and Kerikeri by 8.45am. It's not a long commute for a 9.00am meeting then. That might make more sense?! 

All in all I'm hopeful that it will work out for North Shore Air


  1. I predict that it does not have a snowball chance in hell of survival. The cost of running a Chieftain on a regular run is far to high. No back up should the aircraft go U/S.

  2. Actually we have two aircraft so there is a back up for maintenance.

  3. Rather than KKE, I would have thought HLZ would have been a good choice alongside TRG. Especially given NZ's withdrawal from AKL next year.

    1. Yea foggy HLZ could be an idea. The AKL - HLZ route has often carried those with international connections in addition to a small number of passengers from destinations north of AKL like WRE and KKE. Anything south tends to come from WLG and CHC

  4. You would be surprised how many folk catch the short flight over the Bombays that originate from south of Hamilton and travel via Auckland. Must be how the through fare booking system is structured. However there certainly is merit in the proposition of a NZNE-NZHN route and even triangulate it with NZTG to maximise yield potential although that proposition dilutes the advantages of a quick connection option between the Shore and Bay of Plenty.

    Personally this Anon wishes the operator all the very best in his endeavors and it is wonderful to see someone stick their neck out in a tough operating environment and give something a go. I'm sure Mr Newman has an escape plan if things don't work out for whatever reason.

    The PA31 is ideally suited for the commuter style of flying and hopefully with exposure to the market charter opportunities will present themselves.

    All the best for September 21st!