Saturday, June 20, 2015

Air Nelson, Sounds Air and Jetstar?

What a weird day! Unusually, the weather has been rubbish over most of the North Island, except in Wellington. That's not to say that it has been nice here... it's just not as bad at the rest of the North Island. The South Island was probably the pick of the bunch weather wise though...

Photos include an Air Nelson/ Air NZ Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NFB landing, a Sounds Air Pilatus PC-12/45, ZK-PLS parked up, and a screen shot from the Metservice website of the rain radar.

Bombardier DHC-8-311, ZK-NFB, operated by Air Nelson/ Air NZ

Pilatus PC-12/45, ZK-PLS, operated by Sounds Air

Rain radar image (c) Metservice
The big news of the week however is the announcement that Jetstar is starting up some regional routes using some spare Eastern Australia Airlines [QANTAS Link] Bombardier DHC-3-300 aircraft! These services will be managed and branded as Jetstar and are due to start in December 2015. As one wag suggested, you can now get your bags lost in the regions :-)

Initially it looks like 4 regional airports will be served with the 5 aircraft, although this seems to exclude Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. I strongly suspect that these three main centres will be included as it will allow regional passengers to book a Jetstar/ Qantas ticket from home to wherever they are heading - ie: they will operate as feeder routes to Jetstar's and Qantas' other routes.

One rumour [I must stress, it is only rumour at this stage] which has surfaced is the possibility of an operations base at Wellington airport, including the possibility of a "light" maintenance facility. I have just this evening asked Jetstar for comment and I'm awaiting their response. It is a credible [even if eventually false] rumour - Wellington is a central location and Jetstar will almost certainly be cycling a lot of their fleet through Wellington on a regular basis and they will need somewhere to do at least light maintenance - I guess the heavy stuff will still be performed outside NZ unless they use Air Nelson's facilities???

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