31 May 2024

Flying into Hokitika

On the 21st of April 2024 I travelled from Christchurch to Hokitika and back on the first scheduled ATR 72 service in and out of Hokitika... This was my photos of the trip... Being late in the afternoon the light wasn't fantastic...

ATR 72-600 ZK-MVQ at Christchurch I stood in the doorway of the walkway took my photo and then stepped on to the tarmac but still got told "You're not allowed" to take photos on the tarmac.

Holding for company traffic

Turning west airborne of 02

The braided Waimakariri River

Looking back to Christchurch airport

Forest Field 

Sadly the Eyrewell Forest is all gone now - the changing patterns of the Canterbury Plains

The Waimakariri Gorge near Sheffield

And further up the Gorge - the Tranz Alpine rail route winding around above it

The Craigieburn Basin looking up to Castle Hill Station and Village

The scree slopes of the Southern Alps on the Canterbury side

The West Coast was clouded in... it wasn't in my weather forecast

Starting the RNAV approach for runway 21 at Hokitika

Breaking clear over Kumara

A nice shot of Kumara and the Dillmanstown power station dropping into the Taramakau River

I bit more of the power scheme with the Dillmanstown Reservoir

Mining operations

The beautiful Arahura Valley

Humped land being turned into pasture after mining.

Arrival in Hokitika

A quick glimpse of the town

Arriving on the gate

 Photos of the plane at Hokitika can be seen here... https://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2024/04/atrs-commence-hokitika-flights.html

30 May 2024

The 4th Australian Saab


In 2023 Air Chathams took delivery of three Saab 340s from Australia's Rex Air/Per-Air. 

Pel-Air's Saab 340A freighter VH-EKT arrived into Auckland on 7th of June 2023 to become ZK-CIX. The second, another Pel-Air Saab 340A freighter VH-KDB, arrived on the of 16th June 2023 to become ZK-CIW.  Only ZK-CIW wears titles. Neither have flown in New Zealand yet.

Now wearing its New Zealand registration, Air Chathams' Saab 340A freighter ZK-CIX at Auckland on 17 June 2023

A quick photo of the three Australian Air Chathams' Saab 340s with ZK-CIW wearing Air Chathams' titles taken at Auckland on 1 November 2023. 

The third Saab 340A was from Rex Airlines. VH-EKT was passenger configured and flew to Auckland on the 4th of July 2023. This aircraft became ZK-CIT. It has been repainted in full Air Chathams colours but it is yet to fly.

Ex Rex Airlines' Saab 340 VH-EKD, now Air Chathams' ZK-CIT on 12 May 2023

The fourth  aircraft Air Chathams purchased was Saab 340A, VH-KDK. The aircraft had an in-flight fire near Cobar, New South Wales, on 23 April 2023. During the cruise, the crew received multiple warnings, including cargo smoke, avionics smoke and cabin pressure. The crew subsequently detected thick smoke in the cockpit, donned oxygen, conducted an emergency descent and diverted the aircraft to Cobar. The post-flight inspection revealed fire damage in the vicinity of the right recirculating fan and cargo bay floor. The aircraft did not fly again. It has now been dismantled and one presumes the spare parts have been shipped to Auckland. A recent photo of it shows just some wing structure and some engine cowlings remaining.

26 May 2024

The Noumea Shuttle

Following the recent violence in Noumea, the RNZAF's Lockheed C-130 Hercules NZ7005 today, the 26th of May 2024, was operating the RNZAF shuttle to Noumea to uplift New Zealanders stranded in New Caledonia. NZ7005 has operated the flights to Noumea on the 21st, 24th and 25th.


TLK wfu


Airwork's Boeing 737-400 ZK-TLK has been withdrawn from use and its registration cancelled.

Boeing 737-476 (c/n 24434-1912) was registered to Australian Airlines Ltd as VH-TJI on the 10th of September 1990 but was initially leased to and painted in Malaysian Airline System colours becoming 9M-MLD on the 4th of October 1990. It saw two years service with Malaysian before returning to Australia and again becoming VH-TJI on the 27th of October 1992. It was painted in Air Vanuatu colours operating both domestic operations for Australian Airlines (which by then had been purchased by but not merged with Qantas) Air Vanuatu international services. It continued this arrangement until 1998 when it was repainted in Qantas colours. It stayed with Qantas until 2014 when it went to the USA for conversion as a freighter. It was cancelled from the Australian register on the 27th of March 2015 and became US reigstered as N934NZ on the 27th of March 2015. On the 3rd of March 2016 it was placed on the New Zealand registered as ZK-TLK registered to Airwork Flight Operations Limited and having arrived back in Australia entered service commenced operations with Pacific Air Express on the 10th of February 2016. Pacific Air Express Brisbane-based and operated cargo services to Honiara, Nauru, Noumea, Port Moresby and Port Vila and charter flights in the South Pacific area. It had a brief stint in New Zealand operating Parcelair services from the 15th of March 2016  before being mainted in Toll colours. It started Toll services in Australia on the 27th of April 2016 operating them until early this year. 

The aircraft's last flight was as AWK81 from Melbourne to Auckland departing Melbourne on the evening of Tuesday the 16th of January 2024 to arrive in Auckland in the early morning of the 17th of  January. The aircraft was cancelled from the register on the 2nd of May 2024 and has now joined the airframes the Auckland Airport Rescue Fire Service use on the other side of the runway.

Airwork's Boeing 737-400 ZK-TLK at Auckland on 18 January 2024

Withdrawn from use, Boeing 737 ZK-TLK is now with Auckland Airport Rescue Fire Services fleet. Photo taken on 26 May 2024

25 May 2024

Yet another 737 for Texel



Arriving into Hamilton last night was yet another Boeing 737-800 freighter for Texel Air's Australasian operations. Boeing 737-8FH(WLH) was delivered to UK airline XL Airways as G-XLAK in January 2007. It then saw service in Turkey from December 2008 with AnadoluJet as TC-JHI and from January 2013 with Sun Express as TC-SAH. In June 2019 it went to Airzena Georgian Airways as 4L-TGC and then to Aircompany Armenia as EK-73792 in November 2021 and it was operated by them until May 2022. It received an Austrian registration OK-SBK with Alterna Capital Partners in June 2022 and was stored in Prague until July 2023 when it was purchased by Chisholm Enterprises it who registered it as N736CE and who flew it to Guangzhou for freighter conversion.

In the early hours of the 24th of May 2024 it departed Guangzhou for Hamilton flying via Port Moresby and Auckland, arriving in Hamilton about 7.30pm. It seems the aircraft is destined for Australian operations. It was registered to Texel Air Ltd, Auckland, as ZK-TXD on 5 June 2024.

24 May 2024

Jet Away with Air Napier

Air Napier has announced that after 30 years of operation, that has officially added a Jet to its Air Operations Certificate. Cessna 510 Mustang ZK-LCA was registered to Air Napier on the 2nd of February 2024 but now it is licenced to fly it. The aircraft will be used for nationwide jet charters.

Air Napier currently operates a dedicated air freight service between Napier and Gisborne and regular flights between Napier and Wairoa to transport medical staff. It also operates air charter work with its fleet of 1 Piper Navajo, 2 Piper Senecas and 1 Piper Cherokee 6.

Photo : Air Napier webpage

23 May 2024

Air NZ @ HKK

Thanks to Matthew Beaven for this photo of Air New Zealand ATR 72-600 ZK-MVP arriving into Hokitika on the 12th of May 2024 was operating the afternoon service from Christchurch. ATRs are operating Hokitika's Sunday afternoon service over the winter months... https://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2024/04/atrs-commence-hokitika-flights.html


22 May 2024

Internationals @ AKL

China Eastern's Boeing 777-300 B-7343 at Auckland on 12 May 2024

Latam's Boeing 787-9 CC-BGD Dreamline at Auckland on 12 May 2024