31 December 2016

2016 - The NZ domestic airline scene in review

1 February 2016
Jetstar begins Auckland-New Plymouth and Auckland-Palmerston North services
Jetstar Bombardier Q300 VH-TQM taxis to depart Auckland on 30 October 2016

1 February 2016
Barrier Air introduces an airport hopper service between North Shore and Auckland International Airports. There was no interest in the service and no more than a handful of flights were flown

13 February 2016
Barrier Air introduces Auckland-Hamilton services. The service was short-lived and ended by May 2016
Sounds Air's Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-SDB operating the first flight to Hamilton on 13 February 2016

16 February 2016
Kiwi Regional commences twice weekly Nelson-Tauranga services
Kiwi Regional's Saab 340 ZK-KRA taxis in at Tauranga on 23 July 2016

28 February 2016
Air New Zealand cuts Paraparaumu-Christchurch service
Air Nelson Bombardier Q300 ZK-NFI at Paraparaumu on 24 October 2014 

7 March 2016
Sunair offers services from North Shore to Hamilton, Tauranga and Rotorua acquiring Piper Navajo ZK-JGA to inaugurate services. The Navajo was later sold.
Sunair's Piper Navajo ZK-JGA at Tauranga on 13 March 2016

30 March 2016
Originair ceased operating its Jetstreams on the 1st of February 2016. Inflite Charters were contracted to operate Originair's services until the 30th of March 2016 when Originair ceased flying. 
Originair Jetstream 32 ZK-ECI at Nelson on 15 December 2015

2 May 2016
Barrier Air commences Auckland-Whangarei services
Barrier Air's Piper Chieftain ZK-VIP flew the first Whangarei service. It was photographed at Auckland on 30 November 2015

30 July 2016
Kiwi Regional ceased services. The final flights from Dunedin to Nelson and Tauranga were operated by Air Chathams' Fairchild Metroliner ZK-CIC on the 30th of June 2016. The Saab 340 ZK-KRA operated its last flight for Kiwi Regional on Tuesday the 26th of July 2016 flying from Dunedin to Nelson and Tauranga. 
Kiwi Regional's Saab 340 on approach to Hamilton on 26 June 2016

15 July 2016
Inflite Charter operated some Nelson-Palmerston North holiday flights for Originair
Originair Jetstream 32 ZK-ECI at Palmerston North on 15 July 2016

31 July 2016
Air New Zealand withdraws from Whanganui and cuts services between Blenheim and Christchurch
Two Bombardier Q300s at Whanganui - Photo Whanganui Airport

1 August 2016
Air Chathams commences Whanganui-Auckland services using Saab 340 ZK-KRA
Air Chathams Saab 340 ZK-KRA leaves Auckland on the first day on Whanganui services, 1 August 2016

1 August 2016
Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12 ZK-PLX commences Blenheim-Christchurch services
Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12 ZK-PLX at Wellington on 28 October 2016

August 2016
Barrier Air withdrew all three Piper Chieftains from its fleet
Barrier Air's Embraer 820, ZK-RDT, the Brazilian built Chieftain, at Auckland on 19 December 2016

20 August 2016
Air Freight NZ ended its Convair 580 operation. Convair ZK-KFH flew from Christchurch to Palmerston North (AFN646) and back (AFN647). 
Air Freight NZ's Convair 580 ZK-KFH rolls at Auckland on 26 January 2010

26 August 2016
Final services operated by Eagle Air
Eagle Air Beech 1900 ZK-EAH at Palmerston North before operating final flight to Hamilton on 26 August 2016

2 September 2016
Fokker Friendship services in New Zealand ended. Fokker Friendship ZK-PAX, operated the last flight from Christchurch to Auckland.
The two Airwork Fokker Friendships, ZK-PAX and  ZK-POH at Auckland on 12 August 2016

23 September 2016
Originair restarts services between Nelson and Palmerston North with flights operated by air2there. Flights were initially operated by Piper Chieftains and later with the Cessna Grand Caravan. 
Air2there's Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-MYH at Paraparaumu on 25 May 2016

1 November 2016 
FlyStark introduced scheduled flights connecting Whitianga, Great Barrier Island and Ardmore
FlyStark's Gippsland Airvan ZK-FSR at Ardmore on 3 November 2016

21 November 2016
Sounds Air commence a Blenheim-Kaikoura-Christchurch service following the magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake on the 14th of November 2016
Sounds Air's Cessna Caravan ZK-SAN at Kaikoura on a charter on 23 December 2013

9 December 2016
Sunair grounded by CAA - Airborne again on 16 December 2016. 
Sunair Piper Aztec at Hamilton on 11 November 2016


  1. Awesome year posting by you Steve!

    I predict that in 2017, it will be a slow year compared to this year. Air NZ will continue to try retain ex-Eagle Air routes and I think they will re-jig these timetables again as more ATR72s are introduced, freeing up more Q300s.

    Originair have been quiet for some time - as they get back into the swing of things after their temporary cease in operations, I suspect they will look for expansion, beginning at least one of NSN to HLZ or TRG after Kiwi Regional's ending or possibly even to NPL.

    Sounds Air had a busy 2016 and I think they will have a comparatively quieter 2017.

    What are your thoughts Steve?

  2. Very good review Steve. I expect we will have another eventful year ahead. Does anyone want to make any predictions of what might happen.