23 November 2022

Island Aviation Airborne this Week

Island Aviation, which is operated by Auckland Seaplanes Ltd, is set to take to the air later this week with the first of its two Britten Norman Islanders. Auckland Seaplanes' CEO Chris Sattler has sent in an update on the progress of readying the new air service... 

We did our proofing flights into Claris and Okiwi last week and plan to start our scheduled flights from North Shore on Friday the 25th of November in Islander ZK-SFK. ZK-PIZ should then join soon after. Unfortunately we have had paint shop delays so the the exterior will probably only be upgraded after Christmas. However, the avionics/ADSB and passenger intercom are installed in ZK-SFK and should be completed in ZK-PIZ this week.

Our initial schedule will be 3 flights per day starting at 8.30 from North Shore to Great Barrier Island's Claris airport, returning from Claris to North Shore at 9.30 am.

At 10.30 we then have a scenic transfer flight from North Shore to Waiheke with a return to North Shore at 14.30.

The afternoon flight from North Shore to Claris will leave at 15.30, with the return leg at 16.30.


Those schedules will allow passengers from town to spend a full working day on Aotea/Great Barrier and we can add to the flights as demand becomes more clear.

We also have a VW van available at North Shore for transport to Silverdale bus interchange or transfers to town at an additional fee and all passengers have the option to help us offset the emissions from the flights with a 2 $ per passenger per flight contribution. One advantage of operating out of North Shore is that the airport provides free car-parking for passengers and the boarding and check-in process is a hassle-free 5 minutes, with check-in closing only 15 minutes prior to flight departure.

Seat prices start from $149 pp for a non-changeable/refundable one-way ticket with max 7 kg hand luggage. A ticket with check-in luggage and change options will be $169 and a fully flexible and refundable ticket will be $199 pp

During the proofing flights we could showcase the different capabilities of the Islanders quite well by flying at 1500-1700 feet below a cloud layer providing interesting views of the Hauraki Gulf to our passengers.

We will complement this service with direct flights from Waiheke to Great Barrier on demand in 4-seater and 10-seater aircraft, with prices ranging from $200-250 pp each way.

Britten Norman Islander ZK-SFK at North Shore airport on 13 November 2022. At present, as it awaits its new rebranding, it carries small "Operated by Auckland Seaplanes" titles

In New Zealand service ZK-SFK has been operated on schedule and whale watching with Kaikoura-based SouthFlight Aviation, with Kaikoura-based Wings Over Whales for whale watching before being sold to Commercial Helicopters Ltd who operated it as Mountain Air and Fly My Sky

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