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Monday, November 17, 2014

Wellcamp welcomes first commercial flight

Welcome Airport in Toowoomba welcomed its first commercial flight this morning with Qantas Link Dash 8 Q400 VH-LQQ arriving into the airport as QF2016The aircraft will depart back to Sydney as QF2017 at 09:55AEST
VH-LQQ arrives into Wellcamp with traditional water cannon salute ©BWW Facebook

Normal services on this route will see flights operate WTB-SYD-WTB-SYD-WTB QF2015/16/17/18

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Changes at BHE after announcements

There are a few changes in store for my friends back in Blenheim with recent announcements from the airlines that serve Woodbourne Airport.

Air New Zealand's announcement that it is axing its Beech 1900D fleet will see the BHE-CHC and BHE-WLG routes experience some service reductions, however these will be tempered by an increase in seats and fare reductions.

The Blenheim - Wellington route will drop to just 4 daily return flights, while Christchurch will lose its 3rd daily rotation leaving just 2 peak hour rotations.
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said passengers in and out of Blenheim would benefit from an average 15 per cent drop in fares because of the extra seats.
Blenheim however will experience some of the last changes with the Wellington route changing in March 2016, while the Christchurch route will change in April 2016, just four months before the final 1900D is retired.

Read more on the changes via The Marlborough Express HERE




As noted by fellow blogger Steve over at 3rd Level New Zealand air2there have dropped all reference to Wellington from their website with Blenheim flights now only operating to Paraparaumu.

Check out Steve's post on the subject HERE





Last Friday I was pleased to open the Marlborough Aero Club email version of their newsletter Mac Flyer to read the story about their brand new Cessna C208 Caravan which the airline has recently purchased in the United States and is in the process of ferrying back to Blenheim.

The airline has also posted pics of this C208B which will be registered ZK-SAW on its Facebook page.

The C208B will allow SoundsAir to add Blenheim - Paraparaumu to its schedule from January 2015, and with the recent announcement by the national carrier may also allow it to service Westport.

On the Facebook page SoundsAir state they are working closely with the Buller Regional Council but cannot make any promises on whether they will commence services to Westport

Read more on the new C208 from a Marlborough Express article HERE

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Air NZ Announce Major Regional Changes Axe 1900D

Air New Zealand have this afternoon announced major changes to its domestic regional routes as a result of subsidiary Eagle Air losing $1M NZD per month.

The Eagle Air Beech 1900D fleet will be retired by August 2016


Eagle Air Beech 1900D ZK-EAB at BHE in happier times ©nzompilot


Air New Zealand will invest in 4 additional new ATR 72-600 aircraft allowing the Q300 fleet to replace the 1900D on services to ports that can sustain the 50 seaters.
“This is good news for the following 12 towns: Kerikeri, Whangarei, Tauranga, Hamilton, Rotorua, Gisborne, Taupo, Wanganui, Palmerston North, Blenheim, Hokitika and Timaru. Each will progressively move to 50 seat aircraft and benefit from fare reductions.”

However Whakatane, Kaitaia & Westport will no longer be serviced by Air New Zealand, while four other regional pairings will also go.


Unfortunately there are a small number of regional routes where customer demand simply cannot sustain larger 50 seat aircraft and Air New Zealand will therefore suspend the following services from April 2015: Kaitaia – Auckland; Whakatane – Auckland; Whangarei – Wellington; Taupo – Wellington; Westport – Wellington and Palmerston North – Nelson. Hamilton – Auckland will also be suspended from February 2016.

Air New Zealand will also introduce regional "Gotta Go" fares and restructure its bereavement fares, to counter the wave of public criticism of high last minute fares.
From 20 November customers dealing with a bereavement or unexpected critical medical situation will have the security of knowing they can travel domestically at short notice for a fixed price of $169 for a single sector or $249 for two or more sectors. These fares can be booked up to seven days in advance of travel for a close family bereavement or up to 48 hours in advance of travel for a critical medical situation.

Gotta Go fares will be available from February 1st 2015

Read more on the announcement via the Air New Zealand Press release HERE 

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