01 January 2016

Photo Essays - 2015 in Review

My interest in regional airlines began in the late 1970s when Capital Air Services were flying from Greymouth to Christchurch. While at High School I booked to fly on the Capital 402 much to the disgust of the NAC agent in Hokitika who thought I should have been supporting the NAC Friendship service out of Hokitika. Unfortunately the weather was crap the flight was cancelled and I went to Christchurch on the railcar!

Capital Air Services' Cessna 402 ZK-DNQ at Greymouth in 1978. 

Then in 1980 Westland Flying Services began operating Cessna 402 ZK-DHW Hokitika-Greymouth-Christchurch twice daily three days of the week. In the time it was operating I had the opportunity to fly with them several times... one memorable day I got to fly to Christchurch twice in the 402!

Westland Flying Services' Cessna 402 ZK-DHW at Hokitika in April 1980

It was from these early days that I started photographing the aircraft of the regional airlines. While living in Auckland Air NZ introduced Grabaseat and over the years I managed to fly to all Air NZ's domestic ports.

Then the challenge came to fly on all NZ's regional airlines as opportunities arose and during the year I ticked one more airline off as well as flying on two of the new airlines. Sadly I missed the opportunity of flying on North Shore Air. It's been an extra buzz when the airlines have made it a special day and I've been able to get some local comment and information that's helped in the recording of the airline histories.

As the blog has developed I've done some photo essays on my flights and one or two others have sent me their pics as they have done the same thing! The following are my air adventures of 2015...

...and the bucket list for 2016

  • Fly on the airline I haven't flown on 
  • Fly on the two aircraft types employed on NZ regional air services I haven't flown on

Wellington to Takaka

Whakatane to Auckland to Whakatane

Wellington to Nelson

Nelson to Hamilton

Auckland to Great Barrier Island to Auckland


  1. Hi Steve. Thanks for all the work you do on this blog. It's a great read, but more importantly it is building up an important record of social and business history in New Zealand. Keep up the good work!