30 October 2020

Air Rarotonga update

I've had a little email contact with Air Rarotonga's Ewan Smith in the last few days. While I have been keeping up with what has been happening in the NZ domestic airline scene during Covid it's been a while since I have done an update on Air Rarotonga... Thanks to Ewan for this update 

Things are pretty quiet here. We are just sticking it out doing about 20% of our normal flying hours and revenue. Just local traffic and a few medevacs etc. Fortunately we had already upgraded our Saab fleet last year and we didn't have a lot of debt so we should make it to the other end OK. But it's ugly nevertheless. We were set for a stellar year. The challenge will be the gradual scale up of the business as borders progressively re-open and we start getting some tourists back. Will be years before we can expect to get back to our year round business with visitor flows from both hemispheres though. Hoping to do a bit more charter work around the region with the jet and one of the Saabs to make up some utilisation..... once the borders open to our neighbours. 

Our present fleet is:

2 x Saab 340B+ E5-SMW and E5-EFS(2)
2 x Bandeirantes E5-TAI and E5-TAK. We have a spare airframe E5-TAL in storage.
1 x Cessna Citation II E5-TCM
1 x Cessna 172L-TD E5-NTP (Has turbo the diesel conversion)

Our Bandeirantes are probably good for another five years although we are working with the Government on the progressive upgrading/paving of some outer island runways to permit Saab operations. Manihiki, Penrhyn then Atiu are presently in the planning stage.

Meanwhile Ewan was writing to me about his early days and I have updated my post on James Aviation Rotorua Ltd... Have a look here, http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/06/nac-apache.html

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