07 March 2017

The News on the Convairs and Aero Commander...

There has been a certain amount of speculation for some time about Air Chathams might do with its Aero Commander ZK-PVB and over the last couple of weeks the purchase of the ex-Air Freight Convairs. So to find out I flicked Air Chathams' Airline & Charter General Manager Duane Emeny an email and he was kind enough to give a great response...

Yep, the punters are definitely keeping us on our toes. Whanganui run is settling in nice, and the Saab is being very well received. Whakatane is rolling on well too. With the new wharf project on the Chatham Islands going full steam ahead we have had record passenger numbers out to the island which is causing a problem in itself with lack of space for much needed island stores. So the extra freight aircraft are certainly helping with that. 

You'll have noticed that ZK-CIB has been out of action for some time. We found some corrosion around the main spar so she required an extensive repair. While that was being done we decided to give her a full birthday including repaint, new decals, recovered leather seats, new interior lining and carpets. So she'll look great when she rolls out this month. 

We purchased ZK-KFL last year to fill the gap while ZK-CIB was out of action (needed a plane with large cargo door and palletized loading system for crayfish etc off the island). Since then KFL has been helping out with general freight charters including flying movie equipment to ZQN for recent Disney movie being shot down there. 

Convair 580 ZK-KFL at the Chathams.
We were able to purchase the remaining three CV580's (ZK-FTA, KFH and KFJ) from Freightways at a fair price, and they will be flown to AKL in time to be primarily parted out. This will see us through the next 4-5 years CV580 operations until we have a replacement machine identified and resourced. Bit sad to see them 'cut up' but it will mean we don't need to source and parts from the US and send components away for overhaul which is also very expensive. 

ZK-PVB the 690A has been dry-leased to an aerial survey company and will be taking aerial shots all around the country over the next few months. 

Aero Commander 690 ZK-PVB at the Chathams : Photo Air Chathams' Facebook Page

For more info on the airlines packagae and bookings on Air Chathams see :


  1. would be nice to see fta and one of the parts metros go to motat for posterity,fta since she was our first,and a metro everyone loves?hates the flying cigar....pencil ,we have had a few and they have been passenger/freight/air ambo....

  2. I'd love to see Air Chathams fly Beech 1900s and maybe Dash 8s to replace metros, the Saab and Convair. However I'm a sucker for the Saab. Such a nice plane.

  3. Yes the Saab is a fine aircraft. At the moment they have a spare metroliner they could open up a new route. From another website, it was HLZ to AKL is under investigation.

  4. I wonder if WHK-WLG is still under consideration.

  5. Where's the source for the HLZ/AKL route? I had heard a whisper of this too.