Kiwi Regional Airlines (Waikato) has issued this statement:
One of New Zealand’s most established airlines has announced that it has purchased Kiwi Regional Airlines’ SAAB 340A (ZK-KRA) aircraft (below) and will absorb the aircraft and offer employment to the majority of Kiwi Regional Airlines full time staff and absorb them into its operations from the start of August 2016.
Air Chathams has been in existence for over 30 years, and runs a 5-aircraft operation with scheduled services between the Chathams Islands and Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch as well as a regular scheduled service between Whakatane and Auckland.
It has previously announced it would fill the gap left by Air New Zealand’s withdrawal of services between Whanganui and Auckland, starting on August 1, 2016. It had planned to use an 18-seat Metroliner, but will now use Kiwi Regional’s 34-seat SAAB 340A on this route.
Kiwi Regional Airlines will continue to run its scheduled services until July 30, 2016, and will then run the Whanganui to Auckland service for Air Chathams using Kiwi Regional’s Air Operating Certificate until Air Chathams can move the aircraft onto its own AOC.
Kiwi Regional Airlines passengers booked on flights after midday on July 30 will receive full refunds, or be offered alternative travel on flights before that date. All of Kiwi Regional Airlines’ charters flights with school groups in August and September will still operate.
Kiwi Regional Airlines CEO Ewan Wilson said Kiwi had “a choice to either expand by adding a second aircraft to our own fleet, guaranteeing reliability of service, and splitting the very high compliance costs; or be absorbed into a larger player.”
Kiwi Regional commenced operations in New Zealand on October 27, 2015.