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Owned by Craig and Marion Emeny, Air Chathams was established in 1984 and has worked with the local Chatham Island people to create a reliable and safe airline that would support the transportation of both freight and people to and from New Zealand.
Craig Emeny first moved to the Chatham Islands when he was offered employment through a NZ based airline that required a pilot to operate services primarily between Chatham and Pitt Islands. At that time there was no regular service between the Chathams and NZ, and it was this lack of service regularity that saw Craig start his own airline in 1984 and begin operations to mainland NZ airports. Since Air Chathams was based on the Chatham Islands they were able to avoid many of the weather related issues that plagued other airlines operating the sector from NZ. The freight market developed steadily, as well as offering an extra option for locals to visit friends and family in NZ. Air Chathams has thus grown from operating small piston engine aircraft to large 50 seat two engine turbo-prop aircraft, and played a major part in allowing the Chatham Islands fishing economy to compete globally.
Air Chathams have specialised in the transportation of perishable freight such as fish products destined to the overseas markets.
Additionally Air Chathams have worked extensively in the Charter field utilising the Convair 580 aircraft to carry sports teams, tour groups and others. The Convair has proven to be particularly popular for charter work as it has plenty of leg room and is well suited to carrying extra baggage and freight when required.
Air Chathams charters have seen it regularly flying over the skies of New Zealand, Australia and the South Pacific.