31 December 2018

The AHSNZ - A Great Society and Resource

The Aviation Society of New Zealand has been in existence since 1958. In its 60 years of existence it has recorded the history and current events of aviation in New Zealand in its journals and other publications. But more than that it has inspired others to record this history.

The Society has recently fired up a new website which among other things includes all the NZ Wings on line. What an excellent resource. This is a great bonus as I thought they had disappeared off line.

The link to the AHSNZ website is - http://www.ahsnz.org.nz/

And please, just don't use the website, join the Society as well.

AHSNZ member 1250

30 December 2018

2018 - The NZ domestic airline scene in review

2018 has been been an interesting year on the domestic airline front. 

 You can read what I thought my crystal ball gazing was at the beginning of the year here...  

I didn't predict a lot of change with the exception perhaps of Air New Zealand looking hard at ports like Hokitika and Timaru and the Hamilton-Palmerston North-Wellington service. But 12 months on all these routes are still in the Air NewZealand stable.

 What I didn't see was Air New Zealand pulling out of 
Kāpiti Coast - and I suspect Air New Zealand didn't see that at the beginning of the year either, and I am sure they did not expect the political backlash! 

I thought Jetstar might have expanded into Tauranga. That didn't happen.

And I didn't see a lot else happening. But things did happen. The year has seen new aircraft, new routes, with a couple of airlines closing and a couple of small operators starting up!

Here are the highlights of what happened this yea...

28 January 2018

Barrier Air's second Cessna Grand Caravan, ZK-SDC entered service.

ZK-SDC at Auckland on 25 June 2018

19 February 2018 

Sounds Air added an extra four flights per week between Wellington and Blenheim.

3 April 2018

Air New Zealand cut the Kāpiti Coast from its network

Bombardier Q300 ZK-NEC operating the final Air New Zealand service from Paraparaumu on 3 April 2018

4 April 2018

Air New Zealand increased capacity into and out of Tauranga by adding a new weekday Wellington return flight and operating larger ATR aircraft on early morning flights to Auckland. 

One additional flight each week was added between Rotorua and Wellington allowing a Rotorua overnight service to be reinstated. 

4 April 2018

Sunair cleared to fly again after a CAA's 203 day grounding. Scheduled services were offered from 28 May with flights offered from Hamilton or Tauranga to Great Barrier Island or Whangarei, and from Great Barrier Island to Whitianga or Whangarei.

7 April 2018

Air Chathams second Saab, Saab 340B ZK-CIZ entered service

Saab 340 ZK-CIZ at Auckland on 6 August 2018

May 2018

FlightHauraki, which had been sold to Air Auckland in 2017, began operating under the AIr Auckland name

4 June 2018

Air2there operated its last scheduled services using Originair's Jetstream ZK-ECI.

Originair's BAe Jetstream 31 ZK-JSH at Paraparaumu on 3 January 2018 operating an air2there service 

10 August 2018

FlyStark was still offering scheduled services early in 2018 but on 10 August 2018 their last aircraft was sold.

FlyStark's Gippsland Airvan ZK-FSR, seen here at Ardmore on 3 November 2016 was registered to a new owner on 10 August 2018

13 August 2018

Air New Zealand added an additional 12 one-way business timed services per week between Palmerston North and Auckland operating southbound Sunday to Friday and northbound Monday to Saturday.

20 August 2018

Air Chathams launched its Kāpiti Coast-Auckland air service The inaugural service was operated by Air Chathams Saab 340B ZK-CIZ under the command of Captains Craig and Duane Emeny.

Air Chatham's first service from Paraparaumu to Auckland departs on 20 August 2018

10 September 2018

Barrier Air relaunched flights between North Shore Airport and Great Barrier Island. Flights operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays

Barrier Air's Cessna 208 Grand Caravan ZK-SDC at North Shore on 17 December 2018

28 September 2018

Originair introduced Friday and Sunday flights between Napier and New Plymouth with connections to and from Nelson. The first flight was operated by Air Chathams' Metro 23 ZK-POF

The inaugural New Plymouth-Napier service at New Plymouth today on 28 September 2018
Photo : Taranaki - Like No Other Facebook Page

16 October 2018

Barrier Air's third Cessna Grand Caravan, ZK-SDD entered service also unveiling the airline's new colour scheme. The company also added 12 additional flights per week between Auckland and Great Barrier Island.

Two of Barrier Air's Cessna Grand Caravans, ZK-SDC and the new ZK-SDD at Auckland on 17 December 2018  

27 October 2018

Air2there placed in receivership

Happier days for air2there, Piper Navajo ZK-WHW, Reims-Cessna 406 Caravan ZK-XLF, Cessna Grand Caravan ZK-MYH and Piper Chieftain ZK-MYS at Paraparaumu on 9 April 2012

28 October 2018

Air New Zealand introduced an additional Bombardier Q300 between Auckland and Napier six days per week.

29  October 2018

Fly My Sky commenced twice daily weekday flights between Auckland and Whangarei

Fly My Sky's BN Islander ZK-SFK waiting at Auckland for its Whangarei passengers on 17 December 2018

29  October 2018

Air New Zealand started operating five additional return A320 services per week between Dunedin and Auckland.

2 November 2018

Air Napier changed hands on the 2nd of November 2018 with Gary Peacock selling the Napier-based airline to Shah Aslam.

Air Napier's flagship, Piper Navajo ZK-NPR at Taupo on 25 January 2018

3 December 2018

Air Auckland commenced scheduled services between Ardmore and Whitianga and Ardmore and Great Barrier Island.

Air Auckland's Cessna 172 ZK-MDV at Pauanui on 9 October 2018

14 December 2018

Waiheke Wings commences operation from Waiheke Island with two Cessna 172s. Waiheke Wings is the sole operator of services to and from Waiheke.

Waiheke Wings' Cessna 172 ZK-CBZ at Pauanui on 28 December 2018

20 December 2018

Sounds Air begin operated jet charter operations using  Cessna 525 Citation CJ3 ZK-RJZ.

Cessna525  Citation ZK-RJZ landing at Wellington on 16 September 2018

28 December 2018

A Gippsaero GA8 Airvan, VH-BNG, arrived in New Zealand for Golden Bay Air.

Set to become ZK-ZUG with Golden Bay Air, Gippsaero Airvan VH-BNG at Nelson on 28 December 2018

AIr Kaikoura's Airvan

Congratulations to Air Kaikoura who now have Gippsland GA8 Airvan ZK-EHS on line. The Airvan is used for whale watching from Kaikoura. Thanks to my niece Donna who took this picture of it yesterday before going for a flight... 

Air Kaikoura's Gippsland Airvan ZK-EHS at Kaikoura on 30 December 2018

She had better luck than me... I was going to go on a flight some years ago when doing a series of posts on Kaikoura and was supposed to go for a fly but the weather was too dodgy!

Air Kaikoura is the commerical division of the Kaikoura Aero Club and whale watching makes up a majpr part of its activity, however, for a short time Air Kaikoura did run a regular air service that was a real lifeline for the Kaikoura community...

Kaikoura has a bit of a history of Airvans... For a number of year Sounds Air operated a scheduled air service between Wellington and Kaikoura with Airvan ZK-KLC...

Also on the Kaikoura airfield are two other Airvans, ZK-KBZ and ZK-FSR, operated by Wings over Whales.

28 December 2018

Reading the Tea Leaves for Hamilton Airport...

I have had a few days reading the signs in the tea leaves over the aircraft movements at Hamilton over the last few days...

So flying past my home on Boxing Day was...

...so reading the tea leaves Sunair about to have a massive relaunch into Hamilton with direct flights to Wellington and Christchurch...

Meanwhile out at Hamilton tonight was Air Chathams' Saab 340 ZK-KRA...

...so reading the tea leaves as KRA used to fly in here regionally clearly Air Chathams are going to make Hamilton a major regional hub as it builds itself as New Zealand's regional airline

also out at Hamilton tonight was Airbus 320 ZK-OJD...

...so reading the tea leaves clearly Air New Zealand is about to reintroduce Hamilton-Auckland flights (where OJD was going) with Airbus 320s...
or is it international flights???

but then that's the problem of reading the tea leaves 
after pre dinner drinks
and before cooking West Coast whitebait for tea!

Waiheke Wings Busy

Thanks to Richard who has sent me this picture of Waiheke Wings' Cessna 172 ZK-CBZ at Pauanui today, 28 December 2018.

Richard writes, Further to your blog on Waiheke Wings they have been busy today flying in and out of Pauanui using Cessna 172M CBZ. As you can see from the photo theres no obvious signage on the aircraft.

For more on Waiheke Wings see : https://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2018/12/officially-launched.html

Santa's late present for Golden Bay Air


"Is Santa bringing a late present for Golden Bay?" This is the latest post on Golden Bay Air's Facebook page. Also posted was a screenshot from Flightaware showing a Gippsland GA8 Airvan, VH-BNG, flying yesterday from Latrobe Valley to Melbourne's Essendon Airport.

And the answer is "Yes! Santa is bringing a late present for Golden Bay Air" The factory new Airvan is now over the Tasman and due in Wellington about 11.00am and will fly to Nelson later today and will be registered ZK-ZUG.

Source : https://flightaware.com/live/flight/VHBNG

From Wellington the Airvan proceeded to Nelson where it had the ferry fuel tank and was removed. The Golden Bay Air Facebook page says, "But you'll have to wait a couple of weeks now until the grand reveal" so it look as if it is to be repainted in Golden Bay Air colours before entering service.

24 December 2018

Happy Christmas

Can I wish all followers of
3rd Level New Zealand
a blessed Christmas 
with those you love

23 December 2018

Air Chathams Christmas Update

As we are coming to the end of the year I flicked off an email to Air Chathams' Duane Emeny with some questions I had been wondering about... Here are his responses...

1. Has Saab 340 ZK-CIY entered service yet? 

There have been delays here due to a late decision to carry out a 4000 hour inspection and upgrade avionics in line with future PBN requirements. There have been a few unsuccessful system check flights on the new avionics fit. Another flight is scheduled for Christmas Eve to sign off the GPS upgrade. Then it will start operating on schedules/charters.

Here is a link explaining the PBN requirements...

Saab 340 ZK-CIY on 24 September 2018

2. I see the morning Auckland-Kapiti Coast and late morning Kapiti Coast-Auckland flight has been cut...  Have you any comment that you would like to make?

These flights were implemented on our original schedule based on our schedules in Whanganui & Whakatane. However, they were flight timings not previously offered by Air New Zealand and the uptake has been poor so they will be discontinued and are no longer available for booking.

There is a history of Air NZ's Kapiti Coast air service here...

I would just add to Duane's comment, Air New Zealand initially started into Paraparaumu with three weekday flights but couldn't sustain it.  

The last operation of flight 3C640 from Auckland to Kapiti Coast and flight 3C647 Kapiti Coast to Auckland is scheduled for Monday 24 December 2018.

3. There were a couple of other questions I asked Duane... He gives a great comment...

Guess you'll have to wait and see on that one :-)

I finished with a general comment... "It is great to see Air Chathams developing the way it is... it is certainly the most interesting and dynamic airline in New Zealand at present. Look forward to seeing what you guys will do next!" 

Thanks Steve. Its been a fun ride the last few years with plenty more to come :-)

And speaking for the airline enthusiasts in New Zealand Duane, we looking forward to seeing what you guys do next. Christmas greetings to you and the Air Chats team!

22 December 2018

Three more form North Shore

At North Shore on 17 December 2018 was Vans RV-8 ZK-EYT...

Progressive Aerodyne Searey ZK-SRY

and Corby CJ 1 Starlet U/L ZK-YGL

21 December 2018

A Kiwi Expat Islander in Fiji

Thanks to Matthew for this great pic of ex Kiwi Islander ZK-DBV which now resides in Fiji with Pacific Island Air DQ-DBV. Photo taken at Nadi on 16 December 2018 

Matthew also caught company stablemate DQ-SLM. Photo taken at Nadi on 16 December 2018

No flights again...

Following up from my post on the 10th of December... On that day I wrote, It seems no Originair flights were operated over the weekend for Originair despite the company's website showed full flights for Friday, Sunday and Monday. The website shows all flights are full for next weekend. Flights can be booked for flights from the 19th of December. 

However no flights were flown on the 19th, nor today which I would have thought would have been busy! The company is still advertising to book now but one wonders if and how flights will resume in the near future???

20 December 2018

Jetting around with Sounds Air

Out today on its first Sounds Air flight was Cessna 525 Citation CJ3 ZK-RJZ which operated from Wellington to Taupo-Wanaka-Wellington with the callsign SDAJ (Sounds Air Juliet). The jet is being operated by Sounds Air rather than being owned by Sounds Air.

Cessna 525 Citation ZK-RJZ arriving into Wellington on 16 September 2018