30 October 2017

Cloudy Skies for Sunair UPDATED

Parked outside Sunair's hangar at Tauranga yesterday, 29 October 2017 were Piper Aztecs ZK-PIW, ZK-DIR and ZK-PIX. ZK-DIR has had its Sunair titling removed from the the tail and engine cowling. It's all very sad. Hope you guys at Sunair find sunny skies soon. Looking forward to seeing you airborne again.

More on ZK-DIR here:

and Cessna 172 ZK-DPN here:

29 October 2017

Wellington on Thursday

Bombardier Q300 ZK-NEM arriving into Wellington in its new scheme on 26 October 2017

On the same day Sounds Air's Pilatus PC12 ZK-PLV was waiting its next flight.

28 October 2017

Kaikoura Flights Continue

Sounds Air have announced that they have extended flights on the Blenheim - Kaikoura route for the remainder of the year. Flights will be available through to 31 December.

Sounds Air operates up to 5 flights per week on the Blenheim - Kaikoura route.

22 October 2017

Partenavia bows out of airline service

Barrier Air's Partenavia P68B ZK-PLA has been withdrawn from service marking the end of Partenavias being used on regular air services in New Zealand.

PLA has been used on regular services to Great Barrier Airline since 1984. It was registered to the Auckland Aero Club for use on its commercial operation, New Zealand Air Charter in January 1984, just six months before the company withdrew its Great Barrier Services on the 1st of July 1984.

Partenavia P68 ZK-PLA with New Zealand Air Charter at Christchurch on 23 December 1984

A couple of years later PLA was with Motor Holdings as seen photographed at West Melton on 28 March 1987.

It then returned to Auckland where it saw charter work with Waitemata Air Services, the commercial arm of the Waitemata Aero Club as seen at Hokitika on 28 October 1989...

...as well as with Hibiscus Air as seen at Ardmore on 24 January 1992

PLA returned to flying scheduled services between the Coromandel Peninsula and Auckland with Air Coromandel as seen at Whitianga on 30 August 1993...

...and with Great Barrier Airlines where it was used for courier freight work as well as regular services to Great Barrier Island as seen at Auckland (above) on 9 October 1999 and North Shore (below) on 29 March 2011.

PLA's last operator was the successor to Great Barrier Airlines, Barrier Air as seen here at North Shore on 10 January 2016 

I never managed to get a flight in a Partenavia despite them having been used on regular services by a surprising number of operators as follows;

Air National using ZK-PFT

Air North Shore using ZK-ERA

Ardmore Air Charter using ZK-LAL

Barrier Air using ZK-PLA

Buckley Air using ZK-SMB

East Air using ZK-NMK

Great Barrier Airlines using ZK-DMA, ZK-ERA, ZK-LAL and ZK-PLA

New Zealand Air Charter using ZK-ERA, ZK-LAL and ZK-PLA

Northern Air using ZK-DMA, ZK-ERA, ZK-FUZ and ZK-LAL

Parakai Aviation using ZK-PFT

Soundsair using ZK-LAL

Southern Cross Airways using ZK-NMK

Sunair using ZK-LGO and ZK-ZSP

Trans Island Air using ZK-PFT

United Pacific Airways using ZK-ERA

Wairarapa Airlines using ZK-LAL

20 October 2017

Amman last Saturday

Two of Royal Jordanian's Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, JY-BAB above and JY-BAG below.
Photos taken at Amman on 14 October 2017

Royal Jordanian's Embraer 175, JY-EMH taken at Amman on 14 October 2017 
Jordan Aviation's Boeing 737-322 JY-JAD at Amman on 14 October 2017

18 October 2017

Sounds Air Looking at 3 Beech 1900s

The national carrier phased them out, but larger twin-engine planes could be returning to the skies between Blenheim and Christchurch early next year. Sounds Air is looking at purchasing up to three 19-seater Beechcraft 1900Ds, something which has been described as a quantum leap for the Marlborough airline. Chief executive Andrew Crawford said the board met last Friday and authorised further research into the viability of larger planes on the route it first started flying last August. The idea was mooted in the middle of this year, with Crawford telling a public meeting on air services in Marlborough that the airline was doing everything it could to make the service useful. The Blenheim-Christchurch sector, which had seen a spike in demand since the November 14, 2016 earthquake knocked out State Highway 1, was currently serviced by nine-seater Pilatus PC-12s. Crawford said a decision would be made on the larger planes in December - if the board signed off on the addition to the fleet, the Beechcrafts would be in the sky early next year. "We need to get onto it as soon as possible, so we're actively pursuing a decision. We'd be moving into twin-engines, and two pilots so it would be a huge step for us," he said. Air New Zealand used to fly the Blenheim-Christchurch sector using the 19-seater Beechcrafts, but these were phased out and replaced with 50-seater Bombardier Q300s early last year. The national carrier, citing a lack of demand, dropped the route entirely last July, leaving the door open for Sounds Air to pick up the slack. Crawford said the decision to investigate larger planes on the route was made due to the level of demand and need for more capacity. The airline currently offered around 22 return flights a week between the two centres, priced at a flat rate of $199 one-way or $398 return. While he was unsure what impact introducing larger planes would have on pricing, Crawford said the Beechcrafts would give passengers more choice. SH1 between Blenheim and Christchurch was expected to re-open before Christmas, however Crawford said there would still be demand on the route. "There's a lot of people that still wouldn't drive that road, you can't go to Christchurch and back for a meeting even if the road is open and perfect," he said. The decision to investigate larger planes was also made with an eye to growth. This year the airline expected to carry around 120,000 passengers, a huge increase on the 90,000 Crawford said they carried last year.

17 October 2017

Airvan ZK-FSS heads south

Gippsland GA8 Airvan ZK-FSS underwent an ownership change on 01 September 2017 according to CAA records with a move to Queenstown based Glenorchy Air Services & Tourist Company Ltd. 

The light utility aircraft started out in the South Island with Air Safaris as ZK-SAF from November 2002 until becoming ZK-FSS in December 2016 when it moved north to operate with Flystark operating from both Ardmore and Whitianga to numerous locations on partial scheduled and air taxi type services. 

As at the end of September, ZK-FSS was spied at Ardmore still in full Flystark colours however it was re-registered ZK-ORC (GlenORChy) in mid October. 

ZK-FSS Ardmore 21 September 2017. 

Flystark continue to operate Airvan ZK-FSR and Cessna 172 ZK-CWD. 

ZK-FSR Ardmore 29 September 2017. 

13 October 2017

Gliding at Masada

Piper PA-18-150 Super Cub 4X-AJD and Piper PA-25-260 Pawnee 4X-AFN were the tugs for gliding from Bar-Yehuda at the southern end of the Dead Sea on 12 October 2017






09 October 2017

A couple of ground to airs...

Fly Synthesis Texan TC 4X-HXO over Biet She'an on 7 October 2017

AĆ©rospatiale AS 350B3 Ecureuil over Jerusalem on 8 October 2017

08 October 2017

Bay Air Aviation

Bay Air Aviation was formed at the beginning of 1993 at Rotorua with David Ross as Operations Manager. The operation had a flightseeing division known as Scenic Air Tours with a desk in the Rotorua Airport terminal. Aircraft were hired according to requirement. As Scenic Air Tours, Bay Air Aviation operated a service from Rotorua and Tauranga to Pauanui and Great Barrier Island. This serviced operated on Saturday mornings and Friday and Sunday afternoons.

From early 1993 Bay Air Aviation established a regular evening freight and courier flight from Rotorua to Auckland on weekdays. The flight left Rotorua about 6.45pm with the callsign BAY 1 to arrive at Auckland about 7.50pm. The return flight, BAY 2, left Auckland at about 8.45pm to arrive back at Rotorua at 9.50pm.  These flights carried freight on contract to Ansett New Zealand Air Freight and operated from the Ansett Air Freight building at Rotorua Airport. Cessna R172K Hawk XP II ZK-FGF was hired from the Rotorua Aero Club to operate this service, The aircraft was subsequently registered to Bay Air Aviation on the 23rd of  December 1993. Piper PA28-181 Archer ZK-ESK was also used

Cessna R172K Hawk ZK-FGF at Rotorua on 17 January 1996

Piper PA28-181 Archer ZK-ESK at Greymouth on 19 August 1994

In 1996 Leslie Aviation also took over Bay Air and it became part of the Air Rotorua operation.

07 October 2017

The world-wide curse of covers

Bell Longranger 4X-BEO at Magdala on 5 October 2017

06 October 2017

Media Coverage of the last week's Originair launch to New Plymouth

New Plymouth residents thinking of a short weekend getaway to one of the South Island's major tourist regions can now do so in the same time it takes to drive to Hawera. A new 50 minute direct air link between New Plymouth and Nelson is expected to bring more business and tourism opportunities for both regions, New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom said. Holdom was at New Plymouth airport on Friday to welcome passengers off the Originair midday flight. The Nelson-based airline has scheduled four flights a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday between the two cities using an 18-seater BA Jetstream 31. One way ticket prices rage from the $199 Saver to $279 Flexi Plus, with $99 specials also available. "It's a fantastic addition to the airline services in and out of the region," Holdom said. "We now have three airlines scheduling flights from New Plymouth, and Originair is the only direct service between Nelson and New Plymouth. We are hopeful it will open up more business connections and tourism opportunities with Nelson." Holdom, a keen mountain biker, said he was looking forward packing his cycle and heading off for a weekend trip to experience the trails around Nelson. He hoped Nelson mountain bikers would take the same opportunity to visit the trail network in Taranaki. "It's a special market and it is going to develop further with the help of direct transport links as Originair have provided." Holdom said the arrival of Originair in New Plymouth had been commercial decision by airport shareholder, New Plymouth District Council, to promote regional economic growth. Currently there are 435,000 passenger movements annually through the airport. "We have transport links by land, sea and air so the more people coming in and out of the region, the better it is for business," he said. Originair chief executive Robert Inglis said the new service was performing to expectations after one week. "It will take two to three months to get consistent support but at the moment it is performing well," he said. "We hope it will serve the weekend market who don't want to spend a long time getting to their destination. "If they know they can get to Nelson, or New Plymouth, in under an hour they know they can have more time to explore the region." Originair charter and group bookings manager Gary Jeffcott​ said the company wanted the service to be long-term. "After a week of operating from New Plymouth it is looking promising and we will review flights as we get nearer to summer," he said. Jeffcott said the Nelson - New Plymouth link was a logical "next step" to develop after the company's air service between Nelson and Palmerston North. Forward reservations on the route are already higher than for when Originair launched the successful Nelson - Palmerston North service in 2015, he said. "We are looking to expand our services and New Plymouth was a good step for us to develop. "There are good tourism opportunities between the regions, and the West Coast is also an option to visit. With Taranaki still riding the wave of being named as one of Lonely Planet's top two regions in the world to visit, we need to look closely at how we can make the most of this market." Paul McLean, of Hawera, was visiting an ill friend in his home town, Nelson. He was among 11 passengers departing New Plymouth on Friday. "I was weighing up the cost options of driving to Wellington and getting the ferry across, or flying," he said. "I booked a one way ticket for $179 last week and it suited my plans." McLean said he would use the service again. "It looks a cheaper option all round if you book early." Mike Te Whata arrived in New Plymouth from Nelson with his family after attending a national gymnastics competition. They were among seven passengers arriving in New Plymouth. "I'm from Nelson originally and have been living in New Plymouth for the past three years,"" he said. "I flew down on another airline through Auckland earlier in the week and it took three hours. "This is a wonderful service and I will be using it again." Adventure tourism student Heavenly Kieft​ was flying back to Nelson to continue the final semester of her year-long course. "If the flight was not available I would have had to drive down to Wellington and catch the ferry across to Picton, and then take a bus to Nelson."

01 October 2017

Originair Spreads its Wings

Originair commenced flights between Nelson and New Plymouth on Friday 29 September 2017. The airline is operating four flights a week between the two centres. The first flight was operated by BAe Jetstream 31 ZK-JSH under the command of Captain Warwick Wild.

Originair also operates four flights a week between Nelson and Palmerston North

The first flight at New Plymouth on 29 September 2017. Photo Souree : Originair Facebook Page

The New Plymouth schedule