31 August 2020

Browned Off

Now that Auckland is out of Level 3 I was finally able to catch up with Barrier Air's white ZK-SDB...

Barrier Air's first Cessna 208B Grand Caravan in an all white colour scheme at Auckland on 31 August 2020 

 ZK-SDB in its previous brown scheme at Auckland on 10 September 2017

29 August 2020

Island Air's Silver Anniversary

Twenty five years ago, on the 29th of August 1995 Cessna P206 Super Skylane ZK-DRD was registered to P. D. Ensor, Mount Maunganui. So began Island Air Charter's 25 year history operating as Motiti Island's airline. My history can be found here... 

The Cessna 206 and the original flight office. Source : Bay Waka, Summer 2018/19

25 August 2020

Covid and Social Distancing Pain

Air Chathams is warning that recent government announcements relating to the requirement to social distance passengers will ultimately make air travel more expensive, particularly on smaller regional aircraft whilst piling on more commercial pain on airlines already hurting after emerging from the first lockdown. While supportive of New Zealand’s efforts to manage the spread of the Coronavirus, the impractical rules regarding social distancing on aircraft needs to be reviewed and replaced with mandatory on-board hygiene practice supplemented with compulsory mask wearing. Air Chathams Chief Operating Officer Duane Emeny said “It's impossible for Government to administer a broad-brush requirement to socially distance and believe it will be effective on a multitude of different aircraft types, especially when separation of passengers during boarding and deplaning at many regional ports cannot be achieved”. Air Chathams Commercial Manager Adrian Ali said that prices are going to rise. “If we’re restricted in the number of seats we can sell, yet we’re still covering the same expenses then it’s inevitable that prices to the customer will rise. We know that’s going to come at the expense of people being able to visit loved ones or explore more of NZ”. “The Do Something ‘New’ NZ campaign has clearly helped motivate Kiwi’s to travel and explore their own backyard and we’d been seeing demand steadily increasing prior to Alert Level 3 in Auckland which forced us to suspend all flights except the Chatham Islands” continues Ali. “The unseen component of social distancing on flights is the hours of work our teams are embarking on to block seats and redistribute passengers” Emeny adds. “None of this contributes to confidence around air travel at a time where anxiety is already very high and airlines struggling”. Air Chathams will be reverting to strict Alert Level 2 hygiene and protective equipment policies when regional flights restart to Auckland on Monday 31st including mandatory mask wearing, free customer hygiene packs and high strength anti-viral cleaning agents used after every flight.

Source : Press Release: Air Chathams

The Jet Operators Responding to Covid Flying Conditions

Low-cost carrier Jetstar has suspended flights in New Zealand for at least 11 more days, citing difficulties of operating while social distancing rules are in place. Following a resurgence of Covid-19 in New Zealand the Qantas subsidiary suspended all flying in New Zealand until August 26. That has now been extended to September 6 following Monday’s announcement by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern that Auckland will remain in alert level 3 until midnight Sunday. A Jetstar travel alert, published just before midnight Monday, said as a low-cost carrier it was unable to continue its operations in New Zealand while there was a requirement for airlines to keep the middle seat free. “The limitations on the number of customers that are allowed on board our aircraft make the operations of our flights unviable.” Auckland has been in alert level 3 since August 12 while the rest of the country has been in level 2. Under alert level 3 people can travel on domestic air services for only a handful of specific reasons such as if they are travelling to do essential work, facilitating shared caregiving arrangements, relocating a home or business, travelling for medical reasons, because of an emergency or to give effect to a court order. Under alert level 2 New Zealanders can travel, but they must do it in a safe way and remember to keep a record of their journey. Physical distancing applies and people should not travel if they have been requested to self-isolate/quarantine, have symptoms of Covid-19, or are awaiting Covid-19 test results. Jetstar said affected customers were being contacted and offered options, including the ability to change their travel date (to fly between September 7 and 24) at no additional cost or receive a credit voucher for the full amount of their booking. 

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand is mandating the wearing of masks or face coverings on its flights from August 31, in line with a Government order that will mandate face coverings to be worn on public transport. Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran said customers flying from Auckland had been required to wear masks while at level 3 and it had been recommended for customers travelling from other ports. It was also reviewing its domestic network and would be contacting customers who may be affected by the extension of current alert levels, he said. “We understand the impacts these disruptions cause to our customers and we’ll do our best to get our customers to where they need to be,” Foran said. Fare flexibility is still in place and the airline encourages those who no longer wish to fly to opt to hold their fare in credit through its online booking tool. Air New Zealand chief commercial and customer officer Cam Wallace said in a tweet on Monday the airline was blocking for sale 120,000 seats on about 3000 flights between August 27 and September 6 to ensure social distancing requirements were in place. It was also working on reinstating arrangements so people in the same bubble, such as families, could sit together.

Air New Zealand can operate safely without the need for physical distancing on aircraft provided staff wear personal protective equipment and customers wear masks, chief executive Greg Foran says. Until physical distancing rules were relaxed the airline was not able to operate commercially or offer its cheapest lead in fares, Foran said. Foran said under alert level 2 it could sell just under 50 per cent of seats on a turboprop aircraft and just 65 per cent on an A320. “On that basis, to ensure we cover our operating costs, we won’t be able to offer our lowest lead in fares until social distancing measures are removed.” Under alert level 2 New Zealanders can travel, but they must do it in a safe way and keep a record of their journey. Physical distancing applies and people should not travel if they have been requested to self-isolate/quarantine, have symptoms of Covid-19, or are awaiting Covid-19 test results. Foran’s comments come at the same time competitor Jetstar has suspended flights in New Zealand for at least 11 more days. Physical distancing on flights made the low cost carrier’s operation in New Zealand “unviable”, it said in a travel alert. Foran said it was “really tough” for airlines to operate with physical distancing and wanted the rules done away with. “We believe that if masks are required on board for all customers, if staff use PPE and if we all follow good hand hygiene, we can operate safely without physical distancing.” The airline was working to add capacity through upgauging aircraft or adding services. “Ultimately though, the deck is stacked against us here – we won’t be able to offer enough seats, and we certainly can’t operate commercially under these settings.” Air New Zealand is also mandating the wearing of masks or face coverings on its flights from August 31, in line with a Government order that will mandate face coverings to be worn on public transport. Foran said customers flying from Auckland had been required to wear masks while at level 3 and it had been recommended for customers travelling from other ports. The airline is reviewing its domestic network and would be contacting customers who may be affected by the extension of current alert levels, he said. Air New Zealand chief commercial and customer officer Cam Wallace said in a tweet on Monday the airline was blocking for sale 120,000 seats on about 3000 flights between August 27 and September 6 to ensure social distancing requirements were in place. It was also working on reinstating arrangements so people in the same bubble, such as families, could sit together. New Zealand Aviation Coalition co-chair Justin Tighe-Umbers said people wanting to fly in New Zealand were likely to find flights hard to get, and those available would be more expensive. “Every time we go into alert level 2 or higher, two-thirds of the domestic network gets taken out,” Tighe-Umbers said. “That’s the knock-on effect of having to keep from 30-50 per cent of seats empty depending on the aircraft type.” The Ministry of Health’s requirement for physical distancing meant not as many ticket paying passengers were covering the cost of each flight, he said. "Airlines cannot be expected to fly where they can’t cover their costs.” Tighe-Umbers said the risk of catching Covid-19 while travelling by air should not be compared with travelling on a public bus.


In yesterday's NZ Herald was an advertisment for Air Milford which is now offering flights between Queenstown and Stewart Island.

NZ Herald, 25 August 2020

The company's website says, Gather your friends & family and join Air Milford for a spectacular group trip to Stewart Island. Choose from a range of activities to fill our day, or if a day isn’t long enough to explore New Zealand’s third largest island, spend the nigh and return to Queenstown the following day. The Stewart Island your includes:

  • Return Scenic flight from Queenstown to Stewart Island
  • Fantastic aerial views of Southland, Foveaux Strait & Stewart Island
  • All day on the island to explore
  • Option to add on a range of activities to fill your day 
  • Option to add on an overnight visit and return the following day

The on demand flights operate year around, but requires a minimum of 8 passengers to operate. Air Milford will try to buddy up individuals or smaller groups with other groups to achieve the minimum passengers required. The cost is $499 return per person

22 August 2020

Announcing the Arrival of Sounds Air at Wanaka

Sounds Air WKA-CHC proposal ready to fly

Tickets will go on sale next month for a new flight service between Wānaka and Christchurch, following successful discussions between Sounds Air, Christchurch Airport and Queenstown Airport Corporation, which manages Wānaka Airport. Sounds Air CEO Andrew Crawford said tickets would be on sale from mid-September, with flights to commence from 2 November 2020. “This is fantastic news, not just for Sounds Air, but for the communities of Wānaka and Christchurch who have been so supportive of this proposed service. The survey we commissioned in June this year showed 90 percent support from the 3,600 respondents, which shows us that we have a ready market for this service". “We are planning to fly every day of the week with 12 return flights a week at this stage, using our turbo-prop Pilatus PC12 aircraft. This aircraft is ideal for an airport like Wānaka and will require no additional infrastructure to be built there. It has a comfortable, pressurised cabin that will be able to take up to nine passengers at a time on the 45 minute journey between Wānaka and Christchurch Airports". “The November start date allows for the Queenstown Airport Corporation to seek the necessary approvals from its majority shareholder, Queenstown Lakes District Council, through the submission of its revised Statement of Intent, while also allowing us to help to get people and businesses moving at a time when this is most needed thanks to the impact that COVID-19 is having on tourism and business. The regional connectivity that this flight service will bring will enable locals to travel more easily, support domestic tourism, aid local business recovery and improve access to health services,” Mr Crawford said. “We want to thank everyone who has played a part in getting this proposal off the ground, including our key partners at Christchurch Airport and Queenstown Airport Corporation.”


Additional stakeholder comments:

Colin Keel, Chief Executive of the Queenstown Airport Corporation:
"We are pleased to be working together with Sounds Air on their proposal to introduce scheduled services between Wānaka and Christchurch before the end of the year.  It has also been great to see the positive local community response to the proposal.  We are mindful of the current commitment we've made to our majority shareholder regarding the introduction of scheduled services at Wānaka Airport, and look forward to welcoming Sounds Air to the airport community when the necessary approvals are in place."

Justin Watson, Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer at Christchurch Airport:
"The Sounds Air service between Christchurch and Wānaka is a reflection of the popularity of both places. We know lots of Christchurch residents own and regularly visit property in Wānaka, while a lot of Wānaka residents travel frequently through here for business. This service will assist both those groups, as well as many others." 

Queenstown Lakes District Mayor Jim Boult added his support for the new service as a positive contributor to the district's recovery from the economic effects of COVID-19:
"The Upper Clutha has backed the introduction of this service and I sincerely hope it will help underpin and strengthen business connections for the entrepreneurial and innovative community of Wānaka with Christchurch, and further afield." 

Joanna Norris, CEO of ChristchurchNZ:
Additional air service options are good for both our residents and our visitors, who are drawn to the South Island for its beauty and lifestyle, and keen to travel to locations across the island. Great air and road connectivity also supports our businesses and the new Sounds Air routes add to this mix.

Source : Sounds Air Media Release

20 August 2020

It's Official...

It's official, the Icelandic British Aerospace Jetstream 32 TF-ORG which arrived in New Zealand from Iceland on the 24th of July 2020 has been registered today to Originair Limited as ZK-JSK.

BAe Jetstream 32 TF-ORG at Auckland on 24 July 2020... 

18 August 2020

PPQ - Profit vs Planes Question

This is an interesting piece... It raises the question of the importance of airport profitability, an issue that many regional airports have to face... but the question is, are airports essential infrastructure? Can land just be rezoned to wipe an airport out of existence?  

It was a waiting game for Duane Emeny as he spoke about the future of his family’s business on the Kāpiti Coast. Emeny, general manager of Air Chathams, spoke to Stuff for a story on the economic impact of a potential closure of Kāpiti Coast Airport. But he was, at that very moment, mostly concerned about the suddenly very-real economic impact of a second round of Covid-19. “It’s the thing we wanted the least,” says Emeny. It was Friday, and Emeny, like the rest of New Zealand, were waiting to hear whether the Government would decide that afternoon whether to lift, extend or expand covid-19 restrictions in response to a surge in cases. The renewed uncertainty over Covid-19 came the same week as concern spread that the airport was at risk of imminent closure. The land, about 40 hectares used directly for airport activities, might be rezoned and developed as housing. The airport sits right in the middle of Paraparaumu, near the onramp to the Kāpiti expressway, near the exit point to Kāpiti Island, and near the town’s suburbs. Airport owner NZPropCo bought the airport last year from Todd Property Group as part of a nationwide package of properties. It said no decision was made to close the airport, but it was reviewing all its options. The company pointed out the airport faced significant economic viability issues since Air New Zealand pulled out in 2018 – compounded by the impact of covid-19. It also had significant safety concerns about the looming departure of air traffic control services announced by Airways. These services started after a 2008 mid-air collision that resulted in three deaths, the company said. Before the latest covid-19 problems, Air Chathams’ Kāpiti service to Auckland was going well – even after the lockdown. That changed on Tuesday night, Emeny said. “We don't really know how bad it might be, because we’re still waiting like everyone else...it depends on the duration and the government support, I wouldn't say it’s necessarily terminal, but it’s going to put a lot of pressure on a lot of things.” He said they put on several additional flights to get people in and out of Auckland on Wednesday then suspended all flights on Thursday and Friday. Speaking to Stuff again on Sunday, he said flights would remain suspended till August 27, when covid-19 alert levels might change. Emeny said the case for keeping the airport could be argued around accessibility and “the ease of getting into an area to do business”. ‘It’s not actually just about local residents getting into Auckland but it’s also the other way around.” In an age when the Government was throwing around cash at the provinces to keep the economy alive, it pays to have a flight service into your area. Emeny said the eastern Bay of Plenty was an example where the airline had to tweak its Auckland services thanks to provincial growth fund cash flowing into that region. “They needed to get people down into those areas, so they can carry out their work and get home as well.” Of the airline’s services, Kāpiti and its business travellers bounced back most strongly after Covid-19 restrictions were eased earlier this year. This was because getting into Wellington City, or to Palmerston North was a real challenge for locals. “We thought there might be a level of anxiety there, but they just returned straight away.” The Coast was home to many “well-qualified and educated people. They want to live somewhere beautiful, they want to wake up and look at the sea every morning, but they still need to have the ability to jump on a plane at their local airport...if they didn’t have that then they would probably look somewhere else that does provide it." That, he said, was the intangible benefit: people might not even look at shifting to Kāpiti if it did not have its airport. That makes sense to Waikanae Beach resident Paul Webb, who, pre-lockdown, was a committed traveller to Auckland from the airport. Webb said if he wanted to fly out of Wellington to Auckland, he would have to catch the earliest flight or risk getting stuck in traffic and missing his flight. He would have to leave home before 5am, “which is not particularly nice”, then head to Auckland for a full day’s work, then head back at a flight between 5.30pm to 6.30pm. Or on the other hand, he could drive 15 minutes to Kāpiti’s airport, find cheap parking and leave. It was much easier, much more relaxed, “and you haven’t got the grief of the travel backwards and forwards. I think this district gets shortchanged and overlooked,” he said. In 2018, Kāpiti Coast District Council commissioned an estimate of the airport’s economic value. The report said the net economic benefit annually for Kāpiti Coast was $4.3 million, based largely on travel and time savings for residents ($3.4m). There were smaller amounts gained through recreational value, tourism, and direct employment. The council paid at least $150,000 over three years to help market the arrival of Air Chathams as the service provider to Auckland. In the first year the airline had more than 40,000 passengers on about 1472 flights travelling between Auckland and Paraparaumu. However, a spokeswoman for NZ PropCo said the economic evaluation was now “well out of date”. She said it was prepared on airlines flying multiple routes serving 53,000 passengers annually, but this was no longer the case. “Passenger numbers are now far less than that.” The airport was only paid for landings, at a fee of $102 per landing, she said. Currently, post-covid-19 Air Chathams had eight scheduled landings at the airport. Unlike Air Chathams, the airport received no local or central government subsidy. “We are more than happy to listen to any economically viable solutions that the community may wish to suggest.” The company met members of the community and would continue to “work to understand what the future of Kāpiti Coast Airport looks like”. For mayor K Gurunathan, the future of Kāpiti airport could be linked to the future of the district’s $2 billion worth of roading projects. Gurunathan said that once Transmission Gully and the northern section of the Kāpiti expressway were finished, then it would make it easier to get to the airport. “The catchment of the airport will increase north and south.” This meant people living in Porirua could easily drive up and head to the South Island or to Auckland from the airport. “Which means we are taking away traffic flow going through Wellington City, through that congestion area.” Kāpiti Coast Chamber of Commerce chairwoman Jacinda Thorn said the airport news was part of broader growing uncertainty for the district. Paraparaumu sits in the middle of the two massive roading projects but both were potentially delayed by years, and neither appeared to have an official opening date. “I fear there’s going to be a domino effect, if we have the roads delayed, and then the airport goes, and we’ve got delays to the north, and now we’re dealing with a second wave of covid. The economic impact here can't be underestimated.” Like the rest of New Zealand in 2020, there are few certainties, and an uneasy wait for the future.

17 August 2020

Originair Using Air Wanganui Again

Originair seem to be using Air Wanganui's Beechcraft Super King Air 200 ZK-MDC at present as seen on Flightaware. BAe Jetstream 31 ZK-JSH last operated its services on 10 August 2020. Meanwhile the Icelandic BAe Jetstream TF-OGR is yet to appear on the New Zealand register.

5 minutes at Matamata

Some from a few weeks ago, 5 minutes at Matamata on 26 July 2020 

Piper Cub ZK-BQV

Cessna 172 ZK-JEZ

Tecnam P2008 ZK-MSA

Tecnam P96 Golf ZK-PPG

16 August 2020

The skies are crying

Air Chathams' Fairchild Metroliner III ZK-CIC in the rain at Whakatane on 11 August 2020. All Air Chathams' services to and from Auckland are currently suspended.

15 August 2020

Jetstar Self-Isolates

Low cost carrier Jetstar will suspend all flying in New Zealand from Tuesday until August 26 at the earliest. A spokesman for the Qantas-owned airline said the decision was made following Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s Friday evening announcement that Auckland would remain in alert level 3 and the rest of New Zealand in alert level 2 until August 26. The restrictions are being extended to allow authorities to get on top of a resurgence of Covid-19 in the community, following an outbreak centred around a cool store facility in the Auckland suburb of Mt Wellington. A Jetstar travel alert said during the raised alert levels travel restrictions would vary across the country and as a result, it had temporarily suspended all domestic flights from Tuesday 11.59 pm, until at least the end of Wednesday, August 26. ”Once restrictions lift, we have the ability to resume flying quickly and look forward to returning to the skies as soon as possible.” Customers with Jetstar bookings to fly between Tuesday 11.59 pm and August 26 will be contacted directly to explain available options, which include moving their date of travel forward to return home on any available flight on or before August 18 at no additional cost, or request a credit voucher refund. Customers booked to fly before Tuesday 11.59 pm who no longer wished to travel, were eligible to request a credit voucher or move travel plans to any available flight up to September 11 at no additional cost. From Tuesday Air New Zealand will operate a reduced domestic schedule to and from Auckland to allow for essential travel. The rest of the Air New Zealand’s domestic network would operate as normal under Level 2, with physical distancing in place. Jetstar's New Zealand domestic schedule from August had originally included:
Auckland to Christchurch (30 weekly return flights)
Auckland to Dunedin (seven weekly return flights)
Auckland to Wellington (27 weekly return flights)
Auckland to Queenstown (19 weekly return flights)
Christchurch to Wellington (14 weekly return flights)
Wellington to Queenstown (7 weekly return flights)

Source : https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/122330172/coronavirus-jetstar-suspending-new-zealand-services-from-tuesday-midnight

Also at Gisborne

I hate orange cones - Air Napier's Piper Cherokee 6 ZK-ELK usually stays the weekend at Gisborne after operating the Saturday morning courier flight from Napier to Gisborne. It returns to Napier on the Monday evening. It is seen here on 9 August 2020.
Outside the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society museum on 9 August 2020 was Harvard ZK-ENE
Departing was Robinson R44 ZK-ILS 
Cessna 172RG Cutlass ZK-TAH at Gisborne on 9 August 2020
Robinson R44 ZK-IMF at Gisborne on 10 August 2020
Piper Seneca ZK-MSL came up to Gisborne early on the morning of 10 August 2020 
Aérospatiale Pumas N814AR and N815AR at Gisborne on 10 August 2020

14 August 2020

Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society

Last Sunday I finally managed to get a chance to visit the Gisborne Aviation Preservation Society's museum... Here's what I found inside...

Lockheed Lodestar ZK-BUV
Grumman Avenger NZ2505
Douglas C-47 NZ3547
De Havilland DH82 Tiger Moth ZK-BAL
The Safe Air Bristol Freighter passenger pod

The plaque commemorating East Coast Airways' air service...

13 August 2020

Air Chathams - Why Kapiti Coast Airport Needs to Remain


Air Chathams rejects claims by Kapiti Coast Airport that passenger numbers are falling and says safety claims are misleading and an attempt to discourage use. New airport owner, the property company Templeton Group bought the airport last year from Todd Property Group. Air Chathams has seen a major shift in route performance post Covid-19. Chief Operating Officer Duane Emeny, says the Kapiti to Auckland route was the weakest of the airline’s three North Island routes pre covid-19, but not now. “With closed borders and continual traffic issues getting South to Wellington, the route has bounced back the fastest and now has the highest load factors and yields across our network”, he says. “Safety is paramount for all airlines. Air Chathams agrees that when Aviation Flight Information Service (AFIS) was implemented in 2013 the volume of traffic supported that investment at that time. “Airways have undertaken an aeronautical review on whether to withdraw AFIS from Kapiti Airport. Air Chathams says Templeton’s attempt to use safety as a reason for closure before that assessment has been completed is misleading. If Airways assesses there is a safety requirement for AFIS, Air Chathams expects it to continue; if the experts say there is not, Air Chathams will accept that decision and Templeton should do so too.”. Mr Emeny said that since Templeton Group took ownership of Kapiti Coast Airport late last year, Air Chathams has made numerous requests to meet with their Auckland based management team to discuss the forward strategy and viability for Kapiti Airport. To date no meetings have been forthcoming. Air Chathams is very disappointed that the owner has not engaged earlier with its largest commercial operator. “We would expect that to have happened before any public statements were made, if the financial performance was so critical”, Mr Emeny said. “Public statements without such consultation are damaging to the region, and its key link to New Zealand’s air services network. We have invested heavily in the establishment and operation of our Auckland service. Our plans for our service are for growth, and we believe that the airport has a secure future. It may be that a property business could make short-term profits by closing and subdividing the land for other uses, but we know that the local community is emphatic in its support for this critical infrastructure asset.” Air Chathams notes that:

  • Strong population growth is forecast for the Kapiti Coast and the airport is an essential link to Auckland and the South Island.
  • The airport is a key civil defence asset in the event of natural disaster in Wellington.
  • The airport offers an alternative for urgent travel when Wellington Airport is closed.
  • The airport will offer an efficient alternative to Wellington to many more people when Transmission Gully is completed
  • Other operators can offer other scheduled services and Sounds Air currently does so.

Source : Air Chathams Press Release, 12 August 2020

12 August 2020

Alert Level Updates


With Auckland moving to Alert Level 3 tomorrow (12th August) - We will be at this level for a minimum of 3 days. Air Auckland will be shut during this time and hopefully back up running soon. Please keep safe, wash those hands and we will see you up in the air again shortly.

If you are due to travel to/from Auckland and wish to change your travel plans, you have a number of options available including an alternative flight in the next 14 days or a credit voucher. We may need to cancel some flights due to the Alert Level 2 & 3 restrictions. Where a flight is cancelled, customers will be contacted directly with available options, which depending on the circumstances may include additional options. We're sorry for any inconvenience caused. Please note, face masks are compulsory on all flights. We're updating our website with the most up-to-date information. Please check the Flight Status page for the latest flight information. Flights are operating today, Wednesday 12th August with additional capacity and some changes. Please check the website for the latest update.

Who can travel during Alert Level 3 (Auckland). You're allowed to travel if: 
  • You need to get home (e.g. you ordinarily live in Auckland and need to get back from another region of New Zealand, or you need to leave Auckland to get to your home in another region)
  • You are travelling to provide an essential service or business
  • You are transiting Auckland Airport to leave the country, or to go to another domestic destination. If transiting through Auckland Airport you should not leave the airport precinct.
  • You are travelling to give effect to a Court Order.
  • For travel between all other regions excluding Auckland, you can travel, but do it in a safe way and remember to keep a record of your journey.
  • Scheduled flights connecting Auckland with Whanganui, Whakatane and the Kapiti Coast have been cancelled for Thursday and Friday this week only.
All other services after midnight Friday will continue as scheduled unless restrictions on travel are extended by the government. Our team are in the process of contacting customers to assist with travel changes. If you need to change your flight or contact us, please email us via nzreservations@airchathams.co.nz. As you can imagine, our call centre has been inundated with a higher than expected call volume, so we appreciate your patience and your kindness. We appreciate your support during this difficult time. 

Due to the announce changes in COVID Alert Levels by the New Zealand Government there is some important information for Barrier Air passengers.
  • Our phones are very busy. We ask that if you are not travelling within the next 24 hours that you email any flight change requests to reservations@barrierair.kiwi
  • For urgent bookings for travel home please email reservations@barrierair.kiwi with your request.
  • Please include ‘URGENT TRAVEL HOME’ in the subject line. Our team will be in touch as soon as possible to discuss your options.
  • Our Team will be contacting all affected passengers as soon as possible to reschedule flights and process change requests.
  • We have masks and hand sanitizer available at all checkin facilities.
  • Our aircraft are sanitised between each flight.
  • We ask all passengers to maintain social distancing in accordance with Ministry of Health guidelines.
  • Freight flights to Great Barrier Island will continue. We will provide an updated schedule as soon as possible.
  • The Barrier Air Team are a hard working and caring bunch. We promise that we are doing everything we can to look after our passengers and thank you in advance for your patience and support in the coming days!

Following the Governments announcement on 11 August 2020 we wish to advise passengers that our flights are continuing to operate in alert level two. As this an ongoing situation we are closely following all updates from the Ministry of Health and will act accordingly. If you require further information please email: info@originair.nz or phone our call centre on 0800 380 380.

COVID-19 UPDATE | As of midday tomorrow (Wednesday 12 August), Auckland will move to Alert Level 3. The rest of New Zealand will move to Alert Level 2. Sounds Air does not operate in Auckland and therefore we will be updating our operating procedures to reflect AL2 requirements across all of our scheduled flights. This includes:
💺 Single-aisle seating on all flights to maintain social distancing.
🧼 Thorough cleaning and sanitisation between flights will continue.
👥 Hand sanitiser available and social distancing encouraged during boarding and disembarking.
📸 ID/proof of contact details required to enable contact tracing if necessary.
😷 Facemasks optional.
Our operations team are managing individual flight seating capacity to reflect AL2 requirements and our reservations team will be in touch with alternative options in the event your flight has been disrupted. Assume your flight is going ahead as scheduled if you haven’t heard from a Sounds Air representative. Important: If you are feeling unwell, we ask that you please do not travel. If you have any questions or concerns, please send us an email at info@soundsair.com or message us here.

While the Auckland region is under Level 3 Sunair will not be able to operate flights to and from Great Barrier Island. We hope to resume this service once the Level 3 restrictions have been lifted. All other services are carrying on as normal. Our cleaning schedules have been increased and we may require face masks to be worn above some of our flights with bigger passenger loads. Auckland Airport is only open to essential travel. If this is not you but you are needing to travel to a location that usually transits Auckland (such as Hamilton or Whangarei and further North) give us a call, we can help! 0800 786 247

Two Beavers

I haven't seen a Beaver for ages and in the last fortnight I have photographed three...

Auckland Seaplanes' DHC-2 Beaver ZK-AMA at Rotorua on 8 Ausgut 2020


Farmers Air's DHC-2 Beaver ZK-BVA at Gisborne on 10 August 2020