31 May 2012

Selamat jalan Air Asia X



Air Asia X withdraws its Kuala Lumpur-Christchurch service today. The service, which began in April 2011, saw four Airbus 330 flights operate each week between Malaysia and New Zealand. The withdrawal is part of the airlines strategy to get out of long-haul flights.  Christchurch International Airport (CIAL) chief executive Jim Boult said he was "bitterly disappointed" at AirAsia X's decision to pull out of Christchurch. He said the Christchurch services had averaged passenger loadings of 80 per cent and bookings for the next few months had been promising.
 
Airbus 330 9M-XXH on finals for runway 20 at Christchurch on 19 April 2012. Photo : S Lowe

29 May 2012

Plane Spotting at Incheon - 1

Korean Air's Airbus 380 HL-7615 at Incheon, 29 May 2012. Photo : S Lowe

Korean Air's Boeing 777-300 HL-7782 at Incheon, 29 May 2012. Photo : S Lowe

Korean Air's Boeing 737-800 HL-7785 at Incheon, 29 May 2012. Photo : S Lowe

Korean Air's Airbus 330 HL-8212 at Incheon, 29 May 2012. Photo : S Lowe
Asiana Airline's Boeing 767-300 380 HL-7506 at Incheon, 29 May 2012. Photo : S Lowe

Asiana Airlines' Boeing 777-200 HL-7755 at Incheon, 29 May 2012. Photo : S Lowe

China Southern's Airbus 321 B-6662 at Incheon, 29 May 2012. Photo : S Lowe

27 May 2012

Westland Air and its Air Taxi Services



In August 1969 the Alpine Flying School was established in Greymouth using a Cessna 150, ZK-BVY, for training. From this, in October 1969, Nash Taurau established Westland Air Ltd with his wife Elizabeth Taurau. Cessna 172F, ZK-CKN, was acquired and Nash became the company manager and chief pilot. In March 1970, expanding from its training origins, Westland Air applied for an air charter and air ambulance licence that would allow it to operate from Hokitika and Greymouth. The initial application was turned down, but late that year, on the 10th of December 1970, an air charter and air ambulance licence was granted for operations from Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika. Late in 1972 the company was also permitted to conduct operations from Reefton’s Cronadun airstrip.


Westland Air's Cessna 172 ZK-CKN taken at Greymouth on 10 April 1971
 
On the 30th of July 1971, Westland Air announced its intention to inaugurate an air taxi service between Greymouth, Hokitika and the glaciers. Mount Cook Air Services had earlier that year terminated its skiplane service from Fox Glacier and Franz Josef to Hokitika. The company planned to fly southbound along the Alps and northbound along the coastline using the Cessna 172 for the service, which he envisaged would operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays.


A second Cessna 172, ZK-CFD, was added to its licence in November 1971.


A few months before it became part of the Westland Air fleet, Rex Flying School's Cessna 172 ZK-CFD was photographed at Greymouth on 13 March 1971.


On the 31st of January 1972 Paraparaumu based Rex Air Charter Ltd and Westland Air Ltd started a new air service Paraparaumu and Wellington with Westport, Greymouth and Hokitika. Initially, the service operated from Paraparaumu south to Hokitika three times a week with the southbound flights leaving on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The aircraft overnighted at Hokitika and flew the northbound flights on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings. Harry Jenkins, manager and chief pilot of Rex Air Charter, told the Greymouth Evening Star on the 31st of January 1972 that "the timetable would remain flexible until a pattern was established according to demand... If required stops will be made at Greymouth and Westport before going on to Wellington Airport where the scheduled arrival time is 9.50am. Mr Jenkins said the aircraft would bypass Greymouth or Westport if there were no passengers or freight to collect. ‘The whole thing is quite flexible.’” He also suggested in the Hokitika Guardian that “the service would also fill the gap left by NAC when it cuts its connection between Hokitika and Westport on May 30 1972.”


Greymouth Evening Star, 2 February 1972


The Civil Aviation Division of the Ministry of Transport acknowledged that theoretically the service could be conducted under the two air taxi licences. But they felt that if there was to be a regular service then it should be classified as non-scheduled service and appropriate licences needed to be sought. This fact was made known to both companies.

Meanwhile, the service was not proving particularly successful. Only 24 people used it in the first month, with Westland Air completing one return flight between the Wellington-West Coast and Rex Flying School flying five such flights. The companies made the decision to reduce the service to two flights a week, on Mondays and Fridays southbound and Tuesdays and Saturdays northbound.

Westland Air subsequently withdrew from the partnership with Rex Air Charter. With Rex not being able to operate from Wellington it was dropped as a destination, as was Hokitika. Rex continued to operate the service for a number of years using its air taxi licence and an on a seat charge basis.

When NAC withdrew its flights between Hokitika and Westport on 6 June 1972, Hokitika lost an air link to Nelson. Westland Air felt there was enough interest to offer an air taxi service to Nelson from Hokitika and Greymouth and duly announced their intention to offer a daily service along with a Friday and on demand Greymouth-Christchurch and return air taxi service commencing on the 19th of June 1972. It was given approval to operate Cessna 185 ZK-CCB on these flights and for its general charter and ambulance work. The service was very short lived, however, as Nash Taurau and the Cessna 185 were subsequently involved in an accident at Te Anau on the 25th of June 1972.


Greymouth Evening Star, 14 June 1972
 

The Cessna 185, ZK-CCB, which was to be used on the Nelson and Christchurch air taxi services.
Photo taken at Ardmore
 
Westland Air continued to offer training, charter and air taxi services until mid-1973 when it was taken over by Coast Air Charter.

26 May 2012

25 years ago - May 1987 - Choppers

Whirlwide Helicopters' Bell Jetranger ZK-HWG at Timaru on 2 May 1987. Photo S Lowe

Carrying both Whirlwide Helicopters and The Helicopter Line titles, Bell Jetranger ZK-HPP at Tekapo on 22 May 1987. Photo S Lowe


Carrying both Alpine Helicopters and The Helicopter Line titles, Bell Jetranger ZK-HKE at Queenstown on 23 May 1987. Photo S Lowe

Carrying both Alpine Helicopters and The Helicopter Line titles, Hughes 500D ZK-HLP at Queenstown on 23 May 1987. Photo S Lowe

Carrying both Alpine Helicopters and The Helicopter Line titles, Bell Jetranger ZK-HSA at Queenstown on 23 May 1987. Photo S Lowe

Carrying both Whirlwide Helicopters and The Helicopter Line titles, Bell Jetranger ZK-HWD at Queenstown on 23 May 1987. Photo S Lowe

Waiting for its new Helicopter Line colour scheme was Bell Jetranger ZK-HWO at Queenstown on 23 May 1987. Photo S Lowe

Carrying both Alpine Helicopters and The Helicopter Line titles, Bell Jetranger ZK-HWY at Queenstown on 23 May 1987. Photo S Lowe

Hughes 500C ZK-HKE at Te Anau on 23 May 1987. Photo S Lowe

Hughes 300 ZK-HOG at Te Anau on 23 May 1987. Photo S Lowe

Hughes 500D ZK-HOP at Te Anau on 23 May 1987. Photo S Lowe

James Aviation's Hiller UH-12E ZK-HML at Balclutha on 23 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

24 May 2012

25 years ago - May 1987 - Fletchers Galore

South Canterbury Aerial Co-op's ZK-DIL was operating out of Pukaki on 22 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

The fences around Farmer's Aerial Topdressing's ZK-DYX meant this was a desperation shot. Photo taken at Alexandra on 22 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

ZK-BHK at Queenstown on 22 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Central Aviation's ZK-EMX at Queenstown on 23 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Central Aviation's ZK-EUA at Queenstown on 23 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Central Aviation's ZK-EUC at Queenstown on 23 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Central Aviation's ZK-EUD at Queenstown on 23 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Farmers Aerial Topdressing's ZK-BOG at Lumsden on 24 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Des Pirie's ZK-CDX at Gore on 24 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Southern Aviation ZK-DDW taken at Gore on 24 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

South Otago Aerial Todressing Coop's ZK-DZF taken at Balclutha on 24 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

ZK-EFN taken at Balclutha on 24 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Phoenix Aviation's ZK-EGI taken at Balclutha on 24 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Phoenix Aviation's ZK-EMG taken at Gore on 24 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe


Phoenix Aviation's ZK-EMN taken at Mossburn on 24 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

ZK-EGV taken at Taieri on 24 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

23 May 2012

25 years ago - May 1987 Milford Sound Senic Flights and Waterwings Airways

Waterwings Airways started in 1982 at Te Anau and expanded two years later to Queenstown where it operated as Milford Sound Scenic Flights

Cessna 207 ZK-DRY at Queenstown on 22 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Cessna 206 ZK-DXD at Queenstown on 22 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Ex Air Safaris GAF N22 Nomad ZK-NOM at Queenstown on 22 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Still wearing its Polynesian Airways colour scheme GAF N22 Nomad ZK-NOL also came via Air Safaris. Taken at Queenstown on 22 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe


Cessna 207 ZK-WET at Queenstown on 22 May 1987. Photo : S Lowe

Waterwings Airways' Cessna 206s - ZK-EFI above and ZK-EKJ below taken at Lake Te Anau on 23 May 1987. Photos : S Lowe