22 May 2017

Potential Air Route Number 2

There is not a lot happening in the regional airline scene at moment and so I have been doing a bit of day dreaming and have had a few thoughts on potential new air routes for our regional airlines...

Suggested Route : Masterton-Auckland

Suggested Operator : Air Chathams

Rationale :

Air Chathams has proved itself to be a real community airline as seen on its services from Whakatane and Whanganui to Auckland services to say nothing of the Chathams service. The Wairarapa continues to grow as indicated with more and more commuters using the train service to Wellington, Presumably many of these are business people choosing to live in the Wairarapa who would have need for flights to Auckland. Flying from Masterton would save the up to 2 hour commute to Wellington Airport and parking at Wellington Airport which costs up to $29 per day or $55 for 2 days. The other interesting feature of the Masterton route is the vast majority of people are flying on a domestic sector only to Auckland so there is no issue with transhipping to another airline. 

Previous Operators on Route :

Wairarapa Airlines

Wairarapa Airlines' Piper Chieftain ZK-WAI at Masterton on 16 January 1986
Air Wairarapa  

Air Wairarapa's Piper Chieftain ZK-KIM at Wanaka on 30 March 2002
Air New Zealand - operated by Eagle Air

Eagle Air's Beech 1900 at Masterton on 24 January 2011

Negatives :

Masterton's runway may need extending for Metroliners...

Check out this Youtube clip :

If you have a suggested route send me an email with your thoughts on it...


  1. Interesting idea. Air Chathams could did it with 2 return flights Monday, Wednesday and Friday (1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon) and 1 return flight on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

    There is a demand, as it will save the 2 hours by train to Wellington and the Airport Flyer bus from Wellington Railway Station to the airport.
    It would be up to the Wairapapa District Council to extend the runway, if there is requirement to do so.

    Air Chathams has a lower operating overheads compared to Air Nelson, so it could work for Air Chathams.

  2. I wonder if Chathams have it way down their list of things to do, as a bit of a grudge seeing as MDC chose Vincent over them last time?

  3. Also the route north to PMR airport is just as long as it is to WLG over 100km. The runway is only 1250m currently but their is a plan to extend it to 1400m and widen it to 30m.See:

    1. The Stuff article is 2013 and nothing has happened since then. I would envisage a schedule similar to the Eagle Air one

  4. Even when Air NZ was flying, regular business visitors to Masterton who I knew (several, with at least a visit a month) preferred to drive to/from Palmerston North or Wellington. Reasons - timing, cost, aircraft type, connections to other destinations. Air Chathams had a lucky escape from this route - nothing to do with grudges, they now know (including from their Whakatane and Whanganui experiences) just how hard it is to compete with (a)Air NZ and its pax benefits (b) aircraft smaller than a Saab (c) Air NZ capacity selling through grabaseat. They have however managed to out-compete Air NZ on all the routes they do (including the Chathams in the past) by their quality of service. Masterton/Auckland is not and will never be of interest to anyone - too long for Soundsair, too small for Air Chathams.

  5. I'll never understand why Sounds Air was turned down for their suggested Masterrton-Wellington service.

    Wairarapa may prefer Auckland service, but as Anonymous says in the post above it isn't going to happen, so why not get real?