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Air Chathams Announces Auckland to Kapiti Service

Posted Jul 2, 2018


Air Chathams has today announced it will launch a new regional flight service between Kāpiti and Auckland, offering more flights than ever before to and from Kāpiti Coast Airport.

From 20 August, Air Chathams will operate 36 flights a week between Auckland and Kāpiti, a new regional route for the family-owned airline, which will offer travellers up to 1152 seats per week on board its fleet of Saab 340 aircraft.

“As an airline that is committed to the regions in New Zealand, we are absolutely delighted to be launching a new service in Kāpiti,” said Craig Emeny, the owner of Air Chathams. “We think the route has a huge amount of potential, and we are really looking forward to getting to know the local community and delivering a quality flight service that residents can be proud of.”

Established in the mid-1980s on the Chatham Islands, flying live crayfish to the mainland, Air Chathams is New Zealand’s largest privately owned airline, operating more than 80 flights per week between Auckland, Whakatane, Whanganui, Wellington, Christchurch and the Chathams.

As a community focused company, Mr Emeny said the Kāpiti-Auckland route was a welcome addition to its flight schedule, which had grown steadily over the years thanks to its reputation for reliability and convenience.

The company’s twin-engine turboprop Saab 340 aircraft seat up to 36 passengers, with a flight attendant on board. “Making sure that we deliver a frequent and quality service that people can rely on has always been at the heart of our business operation, and we are excited about delivering an airline service that will make a positive contribution to Kāpiti’s future regional economic growth,” Mr Emeny said.

A number of organisations have pitched in to support the successful start-up of the Air Chathams service, including Air New Zealand, Kāpiti Coast District Council and Kapiti Coast Airport. “We would like to acknowledge the support we have received from these organisations. They have all worked hard to offer substantial support, to ensure that a direct service from Kapiti to Auckland will resume,” Mr Emeny said.

Kāpiti Coast Airport’s support has included a free premises lease for the first year, followed by a 33 per cent discount on the lease previously paid by Air New Zealand for another two years, or during the period Air Chathams is building up its Kāpiti-Auckland service. “Kāpiti Coast Airport is committed to supporting airline services, and we are really pleased that the region has managed to attract a quality service like Air Chathams,” said Evan Davies, Managing Director of Todd Property, the company that owns the airport. “We look forward to working with Air Chathams, as we continue to provide a regional airport facility that is dedicated to safety, security and customer service.”

Bookings are now open for Kāpiti-Auckland flights. For information and bookings, visit Air Chathams’ website or call 0800 580 127.

Whanganui-Auckland Service Announcement

Posted May 31, 2016

Air Chatham Media Release 30th May 2016

Whanganui Air Service Announcement

Air Chathams is thrilled to announce that they will be commencing scheduled flight operations between Auckland & Whanganui. Flights will commence immediately after the withdrawal of Air New Zealand’s scheduled services towards the end of July this year.

Air Chathams will operate the same weekday schedule that Air NZ operates currently, with some minor changes to the current weekend schedule to better suit the Whanganui-Auckland leisure market. More details on schedule to be flown will be made available soon.

CEO for Air Chathams Mr Craig Emeny ‘is encouraged by the resolve shown by Whanganui elected representatives to get in behind Air Chathams following Air NZ’s decision to discontinue their Whanganui services. Craig is very excited at the prospect of getting to know more about the region and its people in the coming months and continuing the air service the community needs’

Air Chathams has operated scheduled airline services for over 30 years, with a range of aircraft and operating to a range of destinations within New Zealand, Australia, and the South Pacific.
The airline was built around the Chatham Island community, and has helped develop the live crayfish export market from nothing in the 1980’s to almost 400 tonnes annually in present times. As well as significantly improving schedule reliability & frequency from Chatham Islands to mainland New Zealand.

Craig has built the airline by ensuring that needs of the communities his airline serves are met first, and that the airline continues to work with local businesses and customers to ensure the best level of service.

In more recent times this has been evident in the Eastern Bay of Plenty, where Air Chathams took over services between Auckland & Whakatane after Air NZ’s withdrawal. Within a year Air Chathams proved its ability to provide the service and pulled back a large percentage of market share that was lost to Tauranga & Rotorua airports . Air Chathams has worked closely with local government and tourism bodies to develop niche markets that continue to stimulate the regions visitor growth.

Projects such as the themed Douglas DC-3 flights, and the ‘Flying Billboard’ promoting Whakatane as a tourism destination are just a few of the ways that Air Chathams have integrated themselves into the local community.

Craig Emeny has stated,

 “We understand the commercial reasons that have prompted Air New Zealand to make this decision, but I want to assure the Whanganui community that Air Chathams will continue to work with the national carrier, and will ensure that Whanganui receives a safe, reliable air service enabling the region to continue to grow into the future”

Air Chathams & Sunshine and a Plate 2016

Posted Jan 18, 2016

Air Chathams is proud to be the naming rights sponsor for the inaugural Sunshine and a Plate festival to be held between the 20th-28th February 2016.

The festival will showcase the amazing culinary talent and produce in the local area, as well as providing some real star power in the form of Masterchefs Ray McVinnie, and Destitute Gourmet legend Sophie Gray. White Island Tours will be hosting Cocktails Afloat with celebrity guest Frankie Walker, as well as other great experiences such as Champagne Sunrise DC-3 flights and a gourmet market day at the Whakatane Heads.

The week long festival will help raise much needed funds for the amazing people at Eastern Bay of Plenty Hospice, and ensure they have the resources required to continue providing top notch palliative care to those in need.


Air Chathams - 30 years on

Posted Nov 12, 2015

Any regional or 3rd level airline that wants to survive in New Zealand really needs a niche market. One of regional airline success story is Air Chathams which has grown from a fleet of one Cessna 337 in 1985 to a fleet of three Convairs, a Metroliner and a Cessna 206 today.

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