21 December 2017

2 more Saabs for Air Chathams



Below is an article from the Wanganui Midweek... but the key sentences in terms of fleet expansion are...  

The company has recently bought two more to add to the fleet... From a company point of view we've invested in another two Saab aircraft so we'll be looking at using those to further support Whanganui and also develop another route regionally in New Zealand as well as the charter services marketed out of Auckland.  


Local women Brittany Jones and Kaylee Morrison recently started employment as flight attendants for Air Chathams flights between Whanganui and Auckland. "I wanted to get back into the industry and this is perfect," says Brittany. "I have a young one — daughter Sienna — and this means I'll be home each night for her." Three years ago Brittany studied tourism and flight attending so she was prepared when this job was advertised. Brittany and Kaylee were sent to Auckland in September for two weeks' training with two other women based in Auckland. They stayed in the Air Chathams crew house from Monday to Friday. After that they had to complete two more weeks' in-flight training in which they learned operational and emergency procedures. There is also an interview process in which the women had to answer questions about Civil Aviation rules and everything a flight attendant needs to know. Brittany has been flying since November and Kaylee passed her ACA exam last week. "I'm qualified to be a flight attendant on my own now," says Kaylee. "There's a lot to learn but I absolutely love it. Air Chathams is such a great company and I feel blessed I am able to work for them. It's so cool that I can be based here in Whanganui. "I think it's awesome to have local girls because I've noticed I know a lot of people [passengers] on the flights, being a small town. And they just love it too. I feel people get excited when they know the flight attendant." Kaylee feels Air Chathams is such a friendly, personable airline and it works well with a couple of Whanganui women on the flights. Brittany, too, says it's so friendly and she enjoys "hanging out" at the office in Auckland when there's a wait before flying home. "At this stage we are both working at least two shifts a week," says Kaylee. The rest of the time she works at Mud Ducks Cafe while Brittany works in retail at The Burrow. Brittany and Kaylee are not the only Air Chathams staff based in Whanganui. "We've actually had a few move down there," says Air Chathams general manager Duane Emeny. "A couple of our flight crew now commute out of Whanganui and we've got our chief engineer moving to Marton to commute out of Whanganui." The airline has a Saab 340 aircraft which is predominantly used on the Auckland to Whanganui schedule, and Duane says the company has recently bought two more to add to the fleet. "We're very happy with how Whanganui is trending," says Duane. "A lot of work went into the early stages and there was some cost involved, but we've really turned a corner in terms of acceptance of the Saab 340. People really enjoy travelling on that aircraft. From a company point of view we've invested in another two Saab aircraft so we'll be looking at using those to further support Whanganui and also develop another route regionally in New Zealand as well as the charter services marketed out of Auckland. "It's good, positive growth, so we're happy with it. "We're very keen to support local. That's what we've always been about. Brittany and Kaylee have both come through their training really well so they can spend time in the aircraft now, build their experience and go from there.


Source : Wanganui Midweek, 20 December 2017

26 comments:

  1. Whakatane upgauge possibly and Masterton perhaps.

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  2. Apparently it's Auckland to New Plymouth to replace Jetstar's 6am service.

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    1. Air Chats taking on Air NZ and Jetstar on that route???

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    2. I think Jetstar approached them to start a 6am service to give Air NZ some competition in the morning.

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    3. Id be highly surprised if that was the case. It would be like Chats awaking a sleeping giant. Surely chats are smarter than that!

      However, I've been surprised more than once before.

      I'd believe a story more like Chats has been approached by NZ to replace them on certain routes (Hkk/tiu etc)

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    4. "Auckland - New Plymouth at 6am, taking over from Jetstar's cancelled service (serviced by Aerocare, perhaps!)"

      This is a comment on the post on NZ Aviation group on Facebook from someone who I believe works for Jetstar.

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    5. No chance of Timaru for the underdogs sorry. The Q300 is proving to be perfect for the route. Consistently in the 40s and often completely sold out. 28% passenger growth in the past year. The only way is up. Once the infrustructure is complete, who knows, could be more flights

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    6. Correct, the recently completed carpark of just under 100 spaces is not large enough. Outbound passengers have to wait until the inbound have arrived to take their parks.

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    7. Our Timaru service is just utterly brilliant. Good fares, well used and super convenient. However not looking forward to having to pay for parking! :) I do wish there was a afternoon flight, I miss the late arvo turnaround that eagle had..

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    8. The afternoon return flight is the next logical step.
      This would depend on the airport’s infrastructure work being completed and aircraft availability (dependant on new ATRs freeing up Q300s)
      Until now it has been asking a lot to expect 100 seats to fly to TIU in the space of a few hours, but the numbers have continued to build.

      The more frequencies the better choice in departure times, the increased reliability, increased market presence and more low stimulus fares in the market, which gets people talking, and ultimately fills more seats.

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  3. Good to get more Saabs great aircraft wonder where they will come from? Don't think Masterton can take the Saab. The airport will need to widen the runway, taxiway, apron etc first. Masterton Council not really interested in chasing an airline it seems or they would have invested money by now already.

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    1. Yes, the Masterton City Council is very keen to regular passenger air services. They have closed a registration of interest with a number of carriers have expressing interest. The Council is looking at subsidising some services.

      I suspect that Soundsair and Air Chathams could be amongst the interested carriers.

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    2. Kris Masterton is only a town run by a district council

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    3. https://i.stuff.co.nz/travel/100069675/masterton-serious-about-reestablishing-air-link

      I'd be surprised if there is a demand for Saab size, but that would help offer lower end fares. If sounds Air use a Pilatus it will be an expensive option for most.

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  4. Whakatane to Wellington?

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  5. That would be my guess, and possibly WAG-WLG as well

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    1. It would be more logical for a AKL/WAG/WLG using the Saabs with one for backup and charters. The WAG/WLG/WAG is the missing link for air travel between Wellington and Whanganui.

      Could see a AKL/WAG/WLG/AKL/WHK/AKL rotation for one Saab and WAG/WLG/AKL/WHK/AKL/WAG rotation for the other Saab.

      This would free up a Metroliner for AKL/MRO service, which the Masterton City Council wants see re-activated.

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    2. Let's forget this WAG-WLG madness now.

      Air NZ/Eagle: Dismal failure. Sounds Air: Dismal failure.

      An often use definition of insanity springs to mind.

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    3. How can you say Air NZ/Eagle dismal failure? Worked ok with the 18-seat but quite rightly wouldnt have worked with a 50-seat. Air Chats probably has a better market position in WAG than S8 did?

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    4. Air New Zealand went out of it's way to make Wanganui fail and for years. Wanganui bound passengers to Palmerston North was just one thing.

      Passenger loadings on Friday night to Monday morning with Chats using a Convair prove something was wrong with the other airline.

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    5. However, trying to get to the chatham islands at a good price is very hard.

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  6. I doubt if Timaru will be dropped...Q300 services have been a success! More seats on the Whakatane service using a better economic scale than a CV and to release a Metro to reseed WLG services. Masterton is also getting a mention. Interesting if Jetstar is wanting to "lease" a SAAB for a morning New Plymouth service - let them. No loss to Chats if it fails. Down south the rumor mill has this SAAB opening up Invercargill into the Jetstar network...Gosh what will the New Year bring?

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    1. I'm not sure that Jetstar is leasing the SAAB. I'm pretty sure Chats will be operating it by themselves.

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    2. Don't think Air Chathams will want to compete on the AKL-NPL route with two airlines on it already

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  7. Today’s news from Whakatane of extended safety areas makes it clear that regular Saab operations are planned and indeed have been delayed by the need to get the work done.

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