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Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day to write a full blog post, but that doesn't mean it's not covered. Often its covered on the NZ Aviation Notes Facebook page.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Air New Zealand's new safety video

Its that time again, the time when Air New Zealand feels the need to release a new version of the inflight safety video.

The latest video features the All Blacks, some of their familiar former foes, kiwi muso Stan Walker and a couple of familiar faces from the movie franchise Men in Black.

I've got to be honest its not my favourite safety video that Air New Zealand have come up with.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Changes to VA shorthaul Asian flying

As expected by a lot of people Virgin Australia has today announced it will withdraw from the Perth - Phuket route and hand its Perth/Melbourne/Adelaide - Bali routes to subsidiary Tigerair.

Tigerair will take over the Bali flights from March, with the Phuket route being dropped from February.

Regulatory approval is still begin sought for Tigerair to operate a fleet of 3 all economy Boeing 737-800s on the Bali flights.  Tigerair has until now been an all A320 operator.

Virgin will redirect its capacity from these routes to an increase on Sydney/Melbourne - Christchurch as well as seasonal capacity increases on flights to Fiji and the Solomon Islands.  Virgin reduced its capacity into Christchurch as a result of the effect on passenger numbers from the Christchurch earthquakes.

These changes come on the back of the annual profit announcement from Virgin which was a bottom line net loss of $94M AUD.  It is expected that these changes along with a $1b cost saving program will return the airline to profitability in the near future.

Read more about the changes to these services via the Brisbane Times HERE

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Comings and goings #2

Here is a quick look at some of the notable comings and goings for airlines in the Australia/New Zealand region between the last update in March and now.

Air New Zealand have reduced their Boeing 737 fleet to just two frames, with two more leaving the fleet.
ZK-NGG Boeing 737-33A deregistered 17-June-2015 and noted recently in CHC wearing N303KH
ZK-NGR Boeing 737-33A deregistered 01-May-2015
ZK-EAK Beech 1900D deregistered 17-June-2015
During the period they gained the following A320
ZK-OXI Airbus A320 registered 13-April-2015

To enable Sounds Air's expansion and its replacement of Air new Zealand on some services Sounds Air have taken delivery of the following aircraft
ZK-PLS Pilatus PC12/45 registered 16-March-2015 ex VH-KWO
ZK-PLZ Pilatus PC12/45 registered 28-May-2015 ex VH-JMU
ZK-PLT Pilatus PC12/45 not yet registered still registered as VH-MWO arrived in NZ on 04-June-2015

The departure of the former Vincent Aviation fleet continues
ZK-VAI J31 deregistered 28-May-2015 to A3-SKY with Real Tonga Airlines delivered 04-June-2015
ZK-ECO BAe 146-200 deregistered 20-April-2015 to VH-SUF with Skyforce (Pionair Australia)registered 24-April-2015
VH-VNU Saab SF340B deregistered 7-April-2015 Exported to Guam with Skydive Guam

Cobham (National Jet Express) have taken delivery of another aircraft
VH-NJU Avro RJ85 registered 10-June-2015

Jetstar continued to receive Boeing 787-8s
VH-VKJ Boeing 787-8 registered 30-April-2015
VH-VKK Boeing 787-8 registered 19-May-2015

There have been several changes to the Qantas fleets
VH-NHY EMB120R deregistered 02-March-2015 exported to South Africa
VH-OGI Boeing 767-300 deregistered 06-May-2015 exported to USA
VH-OGL Boeing 767-300 deregistered 07-Aptil-2015 exported to USA
VH-OGO Boeing 767-300 deregistered 19-June-2015 exported to USA
VH-OGT Boeing 767-300 deregistered 16-June-2015 exported to USA
VH-TJI Boeing 737-476 deregistered 27-May-2015 exported to USA
VH-TJK Boeing 737-476 deregistered 30-April-2015 exported to USA
VH-OJA Boeing 747-400 deregistered 31-March-2015 to HAARS Aviation Museum Wooloongong

The next wave of Virgin Australia deliveries have been registered but are yet to be delivered, interestingly they have returned to the YF* rego block after receiving deliveries in the YI* block, suggesting these will be domestic aircraft. 
VH-YFS Boeing 737-8FE registered 12-May-2015 not yet delivered
VH-YFT Boeing 737-8FE registered 12-May-2015 not yet delivered
VH-YFU Boeing 737-8FE registered 12-May-2015 not yet delivered
VH-YFV Boeing 737-8FE registered 12-May-2015 not yet delivered

KRA announce initial routes

New start up Kiwi Regional airlines has announced its first routes with a launch focus on Dunedin.

From Sunday 27-September-2015 KRA hopes to use its single Saab SF340A on the following daily rotation DUD-ZQN-DUD-NSN-HLZ-NSN-DUD-ZQN-DUD

KRA has always wanted to operate routes without direct competition from the national carrier, and with this route structure they have succeeded in that.

Dunedin - Queenstown is a route that has only been offered by small regional operators in the past with 9 seat aircraft so the introduction of a 32 seat aircraft on double daily flights is a big jump.

Dunedin - Nelson is a brand new route linking together two of the South Islands larger centres, a route that has never had a direct service.

Nelson - Hamilton is a route that has previously been operated by both Origin Pacific and Air New Zealand.

Despite being Dunedin centric in this initial schedule, the airline will base its crews in Hamilton.

Read more about the KRA plans via HERE

Thursday, June 18, 2015

JQ to the regions in NZ

Jetstar look set to enter deeper into their head to head battle with Air New Zealand in New Zealand, announcing they will base a 5 strong fleet of Dash 8 Q300 aircraft in New Zealand to fly regional routes.

In a period where Air New Zealand has downsized its regional flying and is reducing its regional fleet types, Sounds Air and Air Chathams are filling in the gaps left by Air New Zealand and new player Kiwi Regional Airlines has announced its intentions, this decision from Jetstar is certainly interesting.

The five Q300s will come from Qantas Link subsidiary Eastern Australian Airlines who will operate the aircraft for Jetstar.  Jetstar is still evaluating which routes it will fly the Q300s on from December and is seeking public feedback on proposed routes including Hamilton, Rotorua, New Plymouth, Napier, Palmerston North, Nelson and Invercargill.

Jetstar made the announcement this morning in Auckland with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in attendance as well as New Zealand Prime Minister John Key.

Read more on the Jetstar announcement via one of these sources HERE HERE HERE

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A return to the past... AA to SYD & QF to SFO

One world alliance partners Qantas and American Airlines have announced a 'return to the past' with their recent joint launch.

American Airlines will return to the LAX-SYD route after a 23 year absence while Qantas will return to the SYD-SFO route after a 4 year absence.

American will operate daily on the pacific route with its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Qantas will initially launch SFO on peak days moving to 6x weekly in January 2016.  They will utilise Boeing 747-400 aircraft freed up from the reduction of MEL/SYD-LAX flying which they will give over to AA.

Read more about the joint route announcements via
Australian Aviation - HERE
Australian Business Traveller - HERE, HERE & HERE

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

QF Link boosts WLE

Qantas link have responded to demand and passenger feedback with additional flights and some retimings on the Sydney - Wellcamp service.

4 new flights will be added a Wellcamp - Sydney service on Friday evening, Sydney - Wellcamp on Saturday morning and a return Sydney - Wellcamp - Sydney service on Sundays.

As a result of the new Friday/Saturday services there are changes to the SYD-WLE Friday afternoon departure and the WLE-SYD Saturday morning departure.  The first moves forward an hour to 16:55 from 17:55 and the latter moves back an hour from 07:30 to 08:35.

The route is operated by Qantas Link Q400 aircraft and commenced with the opening of the airport on 14-November-2014

Read more via Australia Aviation HERE or the Wellcamp press release HERE

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

JQ heads to China

Jetstar today have announced they will launch Gold Coast - Wuhan flights from Tuesday 29-September-2015 utilising their Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

This is the first direct Australia - China route for Jetstar, who previously offered one stop flights via Singapore.

The flights will operate twice weekly on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Jetstar have teamed up with Chinese tour operator Dalian Wanda Group to sell the flights which gives Jetstar an almost certain guarantee that the flights will be profitable.

Read more on the new service via Australian Business Traveller HERE, Australian Aviation HERE or Airline Hub Buzz HERE

Friday, April 17, 2015

LAN commence 787 service

LAN have today commenced their dedicated 787 service to Auckland and Sydney.

LA801 operated by Boeing 787-8 CC-BBA departed Santiago 39 minutes late at 00:44CLST Friday 17-April-2015 bound for Auckland and onto Sydney.

The final A330 service on the route was operated by A330 CC-CQF as LA800 and departed Sydney at 10:17AEST Friday 17-April-2015 bound for Auckland and onto Santiago.

Later this year LAN will again upgrade the LA801/800 service moving from the Boeing 787-8 to the Boeing 787-9

CC-BBA the first LAN 787-8 on LA801 departing Santiago for Auckland and Sydney

Qantas set for return on PER-SIN

Qantas will return to the PER-SIN route, this time with a 737-800 service.

Flights will resume on Friday 26-June-2015 which will be just over a year since they axed their former PER-SIN A330 service.

QF71 will depart PER at 12:00AWST arriving into SIN at 17:20SGT then QF72 departs SIN at 18:25SGT landing back in PER at 23:40AWST

Flights will operate 5x Weekly We,Fr, Sa-Mo

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

NZs latest A320 arrives

The newest domestic configured Airbus A320 for Air New Zealand ZK-OXI arrived into Christchurch from Cairns as NZ6097 on delivery in the early hours of Wednesday 15-April-2015.

ZK-OXI as all NZ domestic configured A320s does not have HF radios fitted and as usual flew across the Tasman in convoy with a scheduled flight, tonight it followed NZ804 BNE-CHC operated by ZK-OJG

ZK-OXI arriving into CHC on delivery
The delivery flight began in Toulouse on Saturday 11-April-2015 and routed TLS-MCT, On Sunday 12-April-2015 it routed MCT-KUL, on Monday 13-April-2015 it flew the penultimate leg KUL-CNS before flying its CNS-CHC leg today Tuesday 14-April-2015

Thursday, April 9, 2015

JQs baggage woes

Jetstar's New Zealand operations have taken another publicity hit after issues with the baggage loading system in Wellington on Wednesday 08-April-2015.

Passengers on VH-VQA JQ290 CHC-WLG were the worst effected with their baggage remaining on the aircraft as it returned to Christchurch as JQ291 incidentally only delayed by 30 minutes.  The baggage was then unloaded at Christchurch and was finally delivered to passengers today Thursday 09-April-2015.  Passengers are quoted as saying no one at Jetstar knew what was going on, from staff at the airport to staff in the call centre.

Passengers arriving in from the Gold Coast on JQ167 experienced delays of 2 hours getting their luggage with some having theirs delivered by courier five hours after landing.  Flight Radar 24 shows A320 VH-VGI operating the return JQ168 WLG-OOL service was delayed by two hours as a result.

VH-VGP operating JQ292 WLG-AKL was also delayed as result with the flight departing at 12:46NZST two and three quarters hours after its 09:05NZST scheduled departure time.  This resulted in JQ299 AKL-ZQN and JQ296 ZQN-AKL also operating 3 hours behind schedule.

VH-VGU also experienced delays across the day stemming from Wellington beginning with JQ274 WLG-AKL delayed 90 minutes, this lead to delays on JQ247 AKL-CHC, JQ250 CHC-AKL, JQ285 AKL-DUD, JQ284 DUD-AKL, JQ269 AKL-WLG, JQ268 WLG-AKL

VH-VFI also experienced delays yesterday of 2 hours on JQ255/254/257/256 AKL-CHC-AKL-CHC-AKL these cannot be directly attributed to the baggage loading system in WLG although they may relate to crew being on one of the delayed flights from WLG.

Read more on the baggage handling delay at WLG via HERE including the passenger complaints.
**note the article incorrectly uses a photo of a Jetstar 787-8 with this article

Saturday, April 4, 2015

JQs week of 1sts

Jetstar launched a raft of inaugural flights this week.

On Sunday 29-March-2015 Cairns welcomed Jetstar's newest international route CNS-DPS-CNS with A320 VH-VFQ operating the inaugural JQ90/91 service.

Gold Coast also saw a new service on Sunday 29-March-2015 with JQ982/983 OOL-PER-OOL departing.  The inaugural service was operated by A320 VH-VFD

On Monday 30-March-2015 the new JQ164/165 MEL-WLG-MEL service departed Melbourne at the delightful red-eye hour of 00:45 with A320 VH-VQR the lucky aircraft.

On Tuesday 31-March-2015 the new JQ125/124 OOL-NAN-OOL service departed Gold Coast with A320 VH-VFJ operating the inaugural return service.

Changes to Virgin Flights

With the reabsorption of Virgin Australia (NZ) into the Virgin Australia International arm there have been a number of schedule and flight number changes to the Virgin Australia International network, which came into effect this week, with the winter timetable.

Numerous Trans-Tasman, Pacific Island and Bali flights have seen either flight number or time changes or both, here are two changes of note.

Port Hedland - Denpasar Bali
This once weekly service used to operate PHE-DPS-PHE as VA2611/2613 utilising a Virgin Australia Regional Fokker F100, as of today Saturday 4-April-2015 it is now a DPS-PHE-DPS service using a Virgin Australia International B738 as VA74/73.

Sydney - Nadi Fiji
During Peak times Virgin Australia will up gauge their Saturday SYD-NAN-SYD service to an A330.  These peak times are mainly school holidays and selected dates over the Christmas/New Year holiday period.  The first up gauged service departed Sydney this morning Saturday 4-April-2015 operated by Airbus A330 VH-XFJ

Monday, March 30, 2015

VA Stat bite

Some readers may be interested in this Virgin Australia 'Stat bite' post looking at Virgin Australia International flights today.

Monday 30-March-2015

Total International Sectors Flown: 55
Trans Pacific Sectors: 4
Trans Tasman Sectors: 25
South East Asian Sectors: 13
South Pacific Sectors: 13

Aircraft Types Used: 2
Boeing 777-3ZG(ER)s Used: 4
Boeing 737-8FEs Used: 18
Boeing 737s with Boeing Sky Interior Used: 17

Excluding the PER-HKT-PER sectors today was the first day in a while that domestic or ex ZK aircraft haven't featured somewhere on the Bali/Trans Tasman/Pacific Island sectors.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

What is Nyepi Day? And why are there no flights?

Today is Nyepi the Balinese 'Day of Silence' which is celebrated as part of Isakawarsa with tomorrow being Balinese New Years Day.  Although a Hindu festival, Nyepi is observed by all in Bali, a description of it follows
Observed from 6 a.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning, Nyepi is a day reserved for self-reflection, and as such, anything that might interfere with that purpose is restricted. The main restrictions are no lighting fires (and lights must be kept low); no working; no entertainment or pleasure; no traveling; and, for some, no talking or eating at all. The effect of these prohibitions is that Bali's usually bustling streets and roads are empty, there is little or no noise from TVs and radios, and few signs of activity are seen even inside homes. The only people to be seen outdoors are the Pecalang, traditional security men who patrol the streets to ensure the prohibitions are being followed.  Although Nyepi is primarily a Hindu holiday, non-Hindu residents of Bali observe the day of silence as well, out of respect for their fellow citizens. Even tourists are not exempt; although free to do as they wish inside their hotels, no one is allowed onto the beaches or streets, and the only airport in Bali remains closed for the entire day. The only exceptions granted are for emergency vehicles carrying those with life-threatening conditions and women about to give birth.
This effects the following flights to/from Australia today/tomorrow morning

JQ - Jetstar
VA - Virgin Australia
GA - Garuda Indonesia
QZ - Indonesia AirAsia
320 - Airbus A320
73H - Boeing 737-8FE(W)
333 - Airbus A330-300
332 - Airbus A330-200
100 - Fokker F100
788 - Boeing 787-8

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Final ex VA(NZ) frame returns to service

The final first flight happened today with VH-VUQ ex ZK-PBL operating this morning,  Wednesday 18-March-2015, VA308 BNE-MEL.

This brings to the end the transition of the former VA(NZ) fleet back into VA International.

To date the following ex ZK aircraft have operated international routes
All have seen domestic Australian service however just VH-VOR and VH-VUB have graced New Zealand/South Pacific skies again, with VH-VOO & VH-VOP operating only on international services to Bali.

Meanwhile as noted in THIS post - VH-YID now wearing full Virgin Samoa colours has hopped around the network operating Trans-Tasman, to Fiji, domestically in Australia, on FIFO flights in WA and to Denpasar from Perth.

2015 Comings and Goings to date

The first two and a half months have seen quite a few changes to the New Zealand & Australian aircraft registers in terms of passenger aircraft.  Here is a look at some other the comings and goings.

Air New Zealand had a net gain of two aircraft in the period welcoming the following 3 arrivals;
ZK-MVF ATR 72-600 registered 14-January-2015
ZK-OXG Airbus A320 registered 20-February-2015
ZK-OXH Airbus A320 registered 27-February-2015

This was offset by the departure of a Boeing 737-33A
ZK-NGP Boeing 733 deregistered 16-March-2015 exported to storage awaiting its future

As per my previous posts between 30-January-2015 and 14-March-2015 Virgin Australia returned their fleet of 10 Boeing 737-8FE aircraft to the Australian register - see HERE for more. 
Virgin Australia also received one new build Boeing during this time
VH-YIY Boeing 738 registered 5-February-2015

Airwork Flight Operations Limited who are the preferred contractor to Toll Freight in Australia farewelled one of their Boeing 737 Freighters
ZK-TLF Boeing 734 deregistered 10-March-2015 and exported to unknown whereabouts

As mentioned in THIS post last year, Vincent Aviation unfortunately went into receivership in October-2014.  Their fleet has begun to move on.
ZK-ECO BAe 146 re-registered to ANCL Investments Ltd 12-March-15 but took effect on 5-October-2014 - despite leaving the country this aircraft remains on the New Zealand register.
ZK-VAB Beech 1900D deregistered 25-February-2015 exported unknown future
ZK-VAH Jetstream 32 deregistered 18-March-2015 exported unknown future
ZK-JSH & ZK-LFW Jetstream 31 re-registered on 9-March-2015 but took effect on 17-October-2014 to Air Freight NZ Ltd

This leaves just Jetstream 32 ZK-VAI as the remaining passenger aircraft owned by Vincent Aviation on the New Zealand register.

Alliance Airlines added one frame during the period
VH-NKU Fokker F28Mk70 (F70) registered 17-February-2015

Qantas saw 3 of their previously departed aircraft leave the Australian register during the period, all three were exported to the USA where they will be prepared for their new owners.
VH-OGJ Boeing 767-338 deregistered 19-January-2015 to C-FOGJ with WestJet in Canada
VH-OGN Boeing 767-338 deregistered 6-March-2015 to WestJet in Canada
VH-TJS Boeing 737-438 deregistered 30-January-2015 due to return to the region with Airwork NZ

There were two changes for Jetstar during the period with two aircraft leaving their fleet
VH-VQB Airbus A320 deregistered 20-January-2015 exported to Mexico as XA-VAH with VivaAeroBus
VH-EBJ Airbus A332 transferred to Qantas 13-March-2015

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Pacific disruptions due to TC Pam

TC Pam seen covering New Caledonia and Vanuatu
There are disruptions to flights across the South Pacific today with tropical cyclone Pam effecting flights into New Caledonia and Vanuatu.

Air New Zealand has postponed flight NZ782 AKL-NOU for over 32hrs, the flight was scheduled to depart Auckland this morning Saturday 14-March-2015 at 10.05NZDT but will now depart tomorrow Sunday 15-March-2015 at 18:15NZDT.
It is not yet know if flight NZ788 AKL-VLI scheduled for 09:40NZDT tomorrow will be delayed or cancelled as the cyclone tracks south.

Virgin Australia have postponed flight VA171 BNE-VLI from 10:30AEST today to 10:40AEST tomorrow.

Qantas have postponed flight QF87 BNE-NOU from 10:00AEST today until 09:30AEST tomorrow, meanwhile QF91 SYD-NOU has been cancelled.

Air Vanuatu have cancelled both their flights today NF50/51 VLI-AKL-VLI and NF10/11 VLI-SYD-VLI

Meanwhile Aircalin have launched both their flights today with A320 F-OJSB departing NOU for MEL as SB110 and A330 F-OHSD departing NOU for NRT as SB800, it appears that both return flights will operate delayed.  SB111 MEL-NOU delayed from 14:20AEDT to 08:00AEDT while SB801 NRT-NOU will delay from 12:15JST to 19:15JST

VA(NZ) the (visible) end

The final New Zealand registered Virgin Australia aircraft ZK-PBL finished up last night Friday 13-March-2015 as VA161 AKL-BNE, bringing a visible end to VA(NZ).  

VA(NZ) will no doubt still have paperwork to complete and staff to transition across to VAI before it hands in its AOC but the visible face the 10 ZK registered aircraft have returned to Australia.

ZK-PBL will return to her previous Aussie registration VH-VUQ

VH-VUP ex ZK-PBK re-entered service today Saturday 14-March-2015 as VA607 BNE-MKY, while newly Virgin Samoa branded VH-YID operated this morning Saturday 14-March-2015 as VA152 BNE-AKL

Pacific Blue/Virgin Australia (NZ) commenced flying in 2004 between its home base of Christchurch and Brisbane a flight that continues daily to this date.  In 2007 it announced it would enter the New Zealand domestic market and indeed flew between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin from November-2007 to October-2010.

With the withdrawal of ZK-PBL the New Zealand register connection ends after 11 years of aircraft on the New Zealand register. 23/01/04 - 14/03/15

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

And the winner is.......

And the winner is ZK-PBL the final VA(NZ) bird

Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBK flew her final flights as VA171/170 BNE-VLI-BNE on Monday 09-March-2015 before entering the Virgin Australia hanger.  She was struck from the New Zealand register today Tuesday 10-March-2015 and will enter the Australian register as VH-VUP.

VH-VOR ex PBF at time of writing has not entered service but will no longer carry the Virgin Samoa titles.  ***UPDATE*** VH-VOR operated her first flight as VA1384 BNE-ADL today Tuesday 10-March-2015

VH-YID flew from Brisbane to Townsville on Tuesday 03-March-2015 as VA9939 where she entered the paint hanger and was given the Virgin Samoa titles and Tupu'itea name.  Unlike PBF she does not sport the tribal colour band on the engines.  She returned to Brisbane as VA9938 on Sunday 08-March-2015 and at time of writing has not flown since.
VH-VOR/ZK-PBF arriving at AKL in the old Polynesian Blue colour scheme ©nzompilot

Another first for Virgin Australia goes to VH-VUB ex ZK-PBJ which takes the honour of the first ex ZK bird to return to New Zealand.  VH-VUB operated VA160 BNE-AKL on Monday 09-March-2015

Friday, March 6, 2015

Then There Were two

Thursday 05-March-2015 saw Virgin Samoa branded Boeing 737-8FE ZK-PBF operate her final flight on the New Zealand register flying VA161 AKL-BNE.  Upon completion she was towed across the airport and entered the Virgin Australia hanger for business class upgrade and entry to the Australian register.  She will take up VH-VOR.

Meanwhile VH-VUH ex ZK-PBI re-entered Virgin Australia service on Tuesday 3-March-2015 as VA773 Brisbane to Cairns

VH-VUD ex ZK-PBG re-entered Virgin Australia service today Friday 06-March-2015 as VA304 Brisbane to Melbourne

Monday, March 2, 2015

Air New Zealand's latest A320 arrives home

The latest A320 for Air New Zealand ZK-OXH arrives into Christchurch tonight Monday 02-March-2015 as NZ6397 from CNS at the end of its ferry flight from Airbus in Toulouse.

As they were built to fly domestic flights only, these Airbus A320 fleet are not equipped with HF radios so like its predecessors ZK-OXH has had to fly the CNS-CHC leg in company with another Air New Zealand flight so it can keep in communication over the Tasman Sea.

As the below Flight Radar 24 screenshot shows ZK-OXH is flying across the Tasman in company with scheduled BNE-CHC flight NZ804 ZK-OJF

FlightRadar24 screen shot of A320 ZK-OXH as NZ6397 in company with NZ804 off the Northern New South Wales Coast

Click HERE for photos of ZK-OXH in Cairns over at fellow blog YBCS Plane Spotting

Into The Final Countdown

VA(NZ) has entered the final countdown with just 3 frames remaining on the New Zealand register.

ZK-PBG operated its final service as VA161 AKL-BNE Sunday 01-March-2015 before entering the Brisbane hanger for her business class upgrade and entry to the Australian register as VH-VUD. She was struck from the New Zealand register today Monday 02-March-2015.

ZK-PBG arriving into a stormy AKL in 2007 ©nzompilot

At time of writing VH-VUH ex ZK-PBI had not yet re-entered Virgin Australia service.

Meanwhile despite having flown Business Class equipped aircraft on various Tasman routes for most of the past month, Virgin Australia officially launched Business Class across the Tasman with VA144 SYD-AKL on Saturday 28-February-2015.  From this date all SYD-AKL flights will offer business class.  The 3 remaining ZK registered aircraft will continue to operate but will not operate on SYD-AKL.  Currently PBL is operating out of BNE, PBF on AKL-MEL and AKL-PI services and PBK is on SYD-NAN and SYD-CHC routes.

Read more about the Business Class offering on Tasman services via HERE
Australian Aviation HERE

Friday, February 27, 2015

Rough start for potential new NZ domestic player

Startup regional player Kiwi Regional Airlines has announced its proposed route network, but has already suffered a knock back at the hands of the New Zealand Government.

KRA CEO Ewan Wilson is well know in the New Zealand aviation industry having been behind the failed Kiwi International Airlines that operated LCC services Trans-Tasman and fell victim to amongst other things predatory behaviour Air New Zealand's Freedom Air.

KRA's launch network was set to be;

However the New Zealand Government has confirmed it will not be revising a decision that prevents civilian flights from Whenuapai due to noise concerns.  This will prevent KRA from launching its WPE-WLG and WPE-PMR routes.

KRA's route network has been carefully chosen so the airline is not in compassion with Air New Zealand Link.
The company will be based in Hamilton, and will purchase two Saab 340 34-seater aircraft from Europe for the flights. Snacks and refreshments will be offered, and the service will include a flight attendant.

The airline is looking to add a third SF340 to the fleet once operations have commenced.  These cannot commence yet as KRA has yet to receive regulatory approval from the CAA, according to their press release, they hope to commence flights in late 2015 or early 2016.  As can be seen in the above graphic they are aiming to commence the application process on 01-May-2015.

Check out the airlines website HERE
the article HERE
the article HERE
and the KRA press release HERE

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

New GM for Archerfield YBAF/ACF

Brisbane's Archerfield Airport (YBAF/ACF) has this month welcomed its new General Manager, Heather Mattes, to the role.

Unlike her predecessor Mrs Mattes does not want to see scheduled RPT services from the airport, and is instead focusing on growing the general/corporate aviation hub.
"My vision for Archerfield is that it really grows on its master plan and remains Queensland's premier general aviation centre," she said. "To do that, you've got to work with the tenants to grow their businesses and, on the other hand, you need to grow the other opportunities on the airport because it needs to be run as a commercial airport, but it also needs to provide and enhance its assets for general aviation."To that account, it would be wonderful to see the general aviation from light aircraft, through to charter, through to more (Queensland) Government Air Wing, emergency services, maintenance and fixed jet base grow in this airport.
It will be an interesting challenge for Mrs Mattes to grow FBO & FIFO ops while maintaining and growing general aviation and training ops but there are other airports in the same boat in Australia and I wish her well in her endeavours, may she successfully grow Archerfield into a leading secondary airport.
Read the Brisbane Times article on Mrs Mattes appointment and plans HERE

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