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Saab 340

Our Swedish princess

Air Chathams has 3 Saab 340's turbo-prop aircraft on duty in the airline, ZK-KRA, ZK-CIY and ZK-CIZ.  

Widely used by commuter airlines around the world, the Saab 340 is an excellent fit for New Zealand conditions.  A comfortable and spacious cabin for up to 36 passengers, the Saab is renowned for its performance and reliability.  The aircraft is crewed by two pilots and one flight attendant with gallery facilities for food and beverage preparation in flight.  

Air Chathams Saab 340's are mainly used on the Auckland to Whanganui and Auckland to Kāpiti Coast passenger schedules.  

Air Chathams flights from Whanganui to Auckland and return take place 36 times a week, 7 days a week and flight time is 1 hour.

Flights from the  Kāpiti Coast departing the  Kāpiti Coast Airport in Paraparaumu to Auckland and return take place 28 times a week, 7 days a week and flight time is 1 hour 10 minutes.

With the lengthening of the runway at Whakatāne Airport in 2019, Air Chathams has also begun a trial introduction of Saab 340 aircraft  for specified flights direct to Whakatane over the summer months.  Passengers on Friday afternoon Air Chathams flights from Auckland to Whakatāne at 3:15pm and 6:35pm and well as those travelling from Whakatāne to Auckland at 4:45pm can look forward to flying in the larger Saab 340. 

Air Chathams will also operate the Saab 340 Saturday morning 8:00am departure Whakatāne to Auckland, Sunday flights from Auckland to Whakatāne departing at 11:00am and 6:15pm, Whakatāne to Auckland at 4:45pm on Saturday and the early Monday morning flight to Auckland at 6:45am. 

Air Chathams purchased their first Saab 340, ZK-KRA shortly before beginning the Auckland to Whanganui and return regular flight service. Duane Emeny, General Manager, said at the time "Our investment in the larger, more modern Saab 340 is proof of our confidence in Whanganui and willingness to see the region continue to develop and grow."

Two further Saab 340's were purchased in January 2018 and were imported to New Zealand from Guam.  These aircraft were registered ZK-CIY, a Saab 340 A model and ZK-CIZ, a Saab 340 B model.  ZK-CIZ flew the inaugual service from the Kāpiti Coast to Auckland on the 20th of August 2018.

The Saab 340 is also available for charter to other destinations if required.

The Saab 340 was produced from 1983 to 1999 with the first aircraft introduced in 1984.  The turbo-prop engine was selected to match the short haul performance of jet engines of that era.  The Saab 340 also shared several manufacturing and design techniques that were used in Saab's military aircraft. Shortly following the launch, the Saab 340 became the best selling commuter aircraft in the world.

As of July 2018, there were 210 Saab 340's in service with 34 operators around the world.


Aircraft Specifications 
Speed470 kilometres per hour
Max Altitude25,000 feet
Pressurised CabinYes
No. of Pilots2
No. of Flight Attendants1
No. of SeatsUp to 36
Inflight CateringAvailable
Toilet Yes