11 June 2023

Texel Air - Our new air freight operator



Texel Air describes itself as filling a niche market for specialised cargo missions requiring resourceful solutions with consignments delivered to tight deadlines supported by an uncompromised level of customer service. It was founded by John Chisholm's Chisholm Enterprises in 2013 as a Bahrain registered airline dedicated to providing ACMI (Aircraft, Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) charter and CMI (Crew, Maintenance and Insurance) operations from its Gulf base. Before forming Chisolm Enterprises in 2006 John had been helped DHL in the Middle East. With his logistical and managerial experience behind him he saw the potential for a niche air freight operator. 

In 2013 Chisholm Enterprises and Texel Air moved into their new 3200m2 hangar and office facility at Bahrain International Airport establishing Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) facilities  which support airframe (line and base) services with technical support encompassing engineering, planning and material services. 

In 2014 Texel Air WLL was granted a Bahraini Aircraft Operators Certificate by the Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs deploying Boeing 737-300F aircraft for cargo operations. All Texel's aircraft, to date,  are leased. Three Boeing 737-300Fs were initially used, A9C-JWC from January 2015 to May 2015, A9C-JNC (Samantha) from January 2015 until June 2016 and A9C-TXL from January 2015 until September 2021. Boeing 737-300F, A9C-APC (Samantha), which previously operated for Air New Zealand as ZK-NGP, entered service in September 2015 and remains in the fleet.

In August 2020 the first Boeing 737-700 FlexCombi, A9C-FLX (Nynke), was added to the fleet, Texel Air being the launch customer for the variant. The 700 series Boeing is capable of carrying up to 24 passengers in addition to its freight payload. A second 737-700, A9C-SJW, entered service in September 2021 while A9C-FLX was returned to its lessor in August 2022.

In January 2022 Texel Air introduced a Boeing 737-800BCF,  A9C-GWC (Vera), to its fleet. The 800 is capable of carrying up to 23.9 tonnes of freight and flying it some 3,750 kilometres. A second Boeing 737-800BCF, A9C-JNC, arrived in Bahrain in September 2022 and this is operated for DHL in full DHL colours.

Texel Air's arrival in New Zealand came quite suddenly with a certain level of mystery about it.  Texel Air New Zealand Ltd was established on the 31st of August 2022. 

On the 31st of March 2023 Texel Air's Boeing 737-33A(SF) A9C-APC arrived in Auckland. This particular aircraft was not a stranger to New Zealand skies, previously being operated by Air New Zealand as ZK-NGP. The following day the Air Cargo News website reported, Texel Air Bahrain has deployed a Boeing B737-300 freighter to Auckland, New Zealand to operate charter services for Parceline Express, a subsidiary of Freightways and New Zealand Post. The freighter will fly on a Auckland – Christchurch – Auckland route. Texel Air Bahrain will continue the charter services until Texel Air NZ Ltd, established in February, commences operations with its B737-800BFC in May this year on the same route. Headquartered in Auckland, Texel Air NZ provides ACMI and charter services.

Texel Air began Auckland-Christchurch-Auckland services on the night of the 3rd and 4th of April 2023 with Boeing 737-33A(SF) A9C-APC operating two return services, XLR 73 southbound and XLR 74 northbound, both departing on 3 April 2023 and XLR 77 and XLR 78 operating in the early hours of 4 April 2023. 

Texel Air's Boeing 737-300 A9C-APC at Auckland on 4 April 2023

Arriving into Hamilton on the 22nd of May 2023 was Texel Air's Boeing 737-8B5(BCF) A9C-GWC, Vera, after its ferry flight, XLR 789, from Bahrain via Bangkok and Darwin. The new Boeing 737-800 freighter underwent maintenance and certification checks with Hamilton Aero Maintenance before being placed on the New Zealand register as ZK-TXE.

ZK-TXE arrived into Auckland from Hamilton on the 29th of May 2023 and entered service later that evening flying... 

Texel Air's Boeing 737-8B5F ZK-ZK-TXE at Auckland on 29 May 2023

The Boeing 737-800 Freighter ZK-TXE did some route proving flights from Auckland to Christchurch and return on the 30th of May 2023 flying as TEXEL 2A southbound and TEXEL 2B northbound and as  TEXEL 3A and TEXEL 3B on the 31st of May. On the 1st of June a route proving flight was operated from Auckland to Palmerston North and return as TEXEL 4A and TEXEL 4B.

Regular flights began on the 7th of June 2023 with ZK-TXE operating TEXEL 73 from Auckland to Christchurch and the return to TEXEL 74 and TEXEL 77 and TEXEL 78 being flown over the same route in the early hours of the 8th of June. 

After the arrival of ZK-TXE the Boeing 737-300 A9C-APC became the short-term backup aircraft. Its final regular flights were operated on the 6th and 7th of June with the last ad-hoc flights being flown on the 26th and 27th of June. It finally departed New Zealand on the 21st of July 2023. 

Texel Air's initial customers were New Zealand Post and Parceline Express, a Freightways franchise. A further two aircraft were expected to be in service by the end of 2023 with a fleet of 10 aircraft serving the domestic air freight services in both Australia and New Zealand and trans-Tasman by 2026. 

To that end a second Boeing Boeing 737-8BK(BCF), N739CE, arrived into Auckland in the early hours of the 29th of September 2023. In the morning it flew to Hamilton in preparation for service as ZK-TXA.

The second Boeing 737-800 for Texel Air's Australasian operations, N739CE departing Auckland for Hamilton on 29 September 2023

This aircraft was placed on the New Zealand civil aircraft register on the 18th of October 2023 as ZK-TXA, On the 19th of October it flew from Hamilton to Auckland and entered service on the 20th of October 2023 flying TEXEL 6101 to Christchurch and the return service to Auckland TEXEL 6102

Texel Air's Boeing 737-800 ZK-TXA at Auckland on 21 October 2023 operating TEXEL 6101 to Christchurch

Texel Air's third Boeing 737-800 freighter, Boeing 737-8FE, VP-CJA, arrived in the country on the 28th of November 2023 flying into Hamilton where it was prepared for service. It was placed on the New Zealand civil register as ZK-TXC on the 19th of December 2023.

On the 25th of January 2024 it positioned to Auckland as TNZ 92 before entering service on the 1st of February 2024 operating TNZ 73 to Christchurch and the return TNZ 74. It then operated another return flight to Christchurch in the early hours of the 2nd of February morning as TNZ 74 and TNZ 77. It continued to operate domestic air freight services until the 24th of February 2024 in an all-white colour scheme before being flown to Townsville on the 27th of February for painting in Texel colours.

Texel Air's third Boeing 737-800 freighter for Australasian operations, ZK-TXC, arriving into Auckland from Christchurch as TNZ 6102 on 6 February 2024

ZK-TXC emerged from the paint shop on the 14th of March painted in Team Global Express colours. It positioned from Townsville to Brisbane as TFX 6104 and began operations that evening flying Brisbane to Sydney as TFX21, then on to Melbourne as TFX22 in the early hours of the 15th before returning to Brisbane as TFX23.

On the 4th of April 2024 a fourth freighter arrived in Hamilton for Australian operations. Guernsey registered Boeing 737-8BK(BCF)(WL) 2-DGMI had flown from Honolulu to Nadi the previous day before flying on to Hamilton. Already painted in the Team Global Express colours that sister 737 ZK-TXC wears, it was always destined for Texel's Australian operation. It was placed on the New Zealand register on the 8th of April 2024 as ZK-TXB. On the 6th of May 2024 it flew from Hamilton to Brisbane as TNZ99. It entered service in Australia just after midnight on the 8th of May 2024 flying TXF403 from Brisbane to Melbourne, then operating TXF 404 from Melbourne to Sydney. 


  1. AKLCHCAKL on 30th May was to test new gate markings.

  2. Curious about what effect this will have on Parcelair (which I believe previously held the contract for NZ Post/Freightways -- and in fact was 50% owned by Freightways?) Wasn't the whole reason they upgraded to 737-400s due to the NZ Post/Freightways cargo-sharing agreement?

    1. Parcelair higher ups are heavily involved with Texel, it's Airwork who own the 737-400s and will feel the heat from this change. Freightways and their subsidiaries are building relationships with Texel rather than viewing each other as competitors.