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.

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