Air Chathams

Air Chathams
Air Chathams logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Operating basesAuckland Airport,
Chatham Islands Airport
Fleet size11
HeadquartersChatham Islands
Key peopleCraig Emeny (CEO)
Duane Emeny (COO)
Roy Mackereth (GM)
Air Chathams Convair 580 at Tuuta Airport, Chatham Islands in September 2003
Air Chathams Convair 580 at Wellington, 21 May 2007
Air Chathams Fairchild Metroliner ZK-CID
Two of the Air Chathams Saab 340s
Air Chathams' NAC livered DC-3 parked up at their ramp at Auckland Airport.
The single Air Chathams owned Aero Commander at Auckland Airport.
Air Chathams ATR72-500

Air Chathams Limited is an airline based in the Chatham Islands, New Zealand.[3] It was established in 1984 and operates scheduled passenger services between the Chatham Islands and mainland New Zealand along with routes between Auckland and Whakatāne, and Auckland and Whanganui. Its main base is Chatham Islands / Tuuta Airport.[4]


The airline was set up by Craig and Marion Emeny in 1984, and facilitates the transportation of both freight and people to and from mainland New Zealand.[5]

Craig Emeny first moved to the Chatham Islands as a pilot to operate services primarily between Chatham and Pitt Islands. At that time the lack of regularity in flights to mainland New Zealand saw him start his own airline and begin operations to mainland airports.[6] Air Chathams had the advantage of being based on the Chatham Islands and were able to avoid many of the weather related issues that other airlines had operating to the Chathams. As the freight and passenger market developed Air Chathams grew from operating small piston engine aircraft to large 50 seat two engine turbo-prop aircraft.[7]

In 2014 Air Chathams established a flight operations and maintenance base at Auckland International Airport. From this base the company provides maintenance services both internally and to third party airlines under contract. A fully owned subsidiary (Chathams Pacific) operated scheduled flights in Tonga until March 2013. The introduction of Chinese (PRC) aid financed aircraft and training facilities at the request of the Tongan government introduced competition to Chathams Pacific's routes.[8] Air Chathams' management decided not to compete with the new airline, Real Tonga, and ceased all Tongan operations.[9] With the Air New Zealand regional route cut backs, Air Chathams began serving the Auckland to Whakatāne route on 29 April 2015,[10] Auckland to Whanganui on 31 July 2016[11] and Auckland to Kapiti Coast from 20 August 2018.[12]

In mid 2018, the airline announced that it was looking to re-establish flights between Auckland and Norfolk Island.[13] Air Chathams in April 2019 announced they will be taking over a fourth Air NZ route by starting a weekly service from Auckland to Norfolk Island on 6 September 2019.[14]


Air Chathams destinations

This is a list of destinations served by Air Chathams, excluding subsidiaries.[15]

Future destination
Terminated destination
Destination Country IATA ICAO Airport
Auckland New Zealand AKL NZAA Auckland Airport
Chatham Island New Zealand CHT NZCI Chatham Islands / Tuuta Airport [Base]
Christchurch New Zealand CHC NZCH Christchurch Airport
Kapiti Coast New Zealand PPQ NZPP Kapiti Coast Airport[16]
Gisborne New Zealand GIS NZGS Gisborne Airport
Napier New Zealand NPE NZNR Hawkes Bay Airport
Pitt Island New Zealand NZPT Pitt Island Airport (On Demand)
Wellington New Zealand WLG NZWN Wellington Airport
Whakatāne New Zealand WHK NZWK Whakatane Airport
Whanganui New Zealand WAG NZWU Whanganui Airport
Norfolk Island Australia NLK YSNF Norfolk Island Airport[17]

Chathams Pacific destinations

This is a list of destinations formerly served by Chathams Pacific, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Chathams that operated between 2007 and 2013.

Terminated destination
Destination Country IATA ICAO Airport
'Eua Tonga EUA NFTE 'Eua Airport
Ha'apai Tonga HPA NFTL Salote Pilolevu Airport
Niuafoʻou Tonga NFO NFTO Niuafoʻou Airport
Niuatoputapu Tonga NTT NFTP Niuatoputapu Airport
Tongatapu Tonga TBU NFTF Fuaʻamotu International Airport
Vava'u Tonga VAV NFTV Vava'u International Airport
ZK-CIZ at Auckland Airport
ZK-CIZ (Saab 340) at Auckland Airport back in June 2021.


As of January 2019, the Air Chathams fleet includes the following aircraft:[18]

Air Chathams Fleet
Aircraft In service Orders Passengers
ATR 72-500 2 68 Acquired from Air New Zealand
Douglas DC-3 1 28
Fairchild Metro III 2 18
Fairchild Metro 23 1 18
Aero Commander 690A 1 4
Cessna 206 1 5
Saab 340A 2[19] 34
Saab340B 1 36
Total 11
The Air Chathams CV-580 'Toroa Freighter' in Auckland.

The ATR, Saabs and Metroliners are used across the company's operations as well as contract freight services and charter work. The Cessna 206 provides a non-regular service between Chatham Island and Pitt Island and is on standby for search and rescue or local flights around the Chatham Islands.[20] The airline's Aero Commander 690 has been wet-leased out for aerial mapping and survey duties,[21] while the DC-3 is often chartered out for scenic flights and tours in a retro NAC livery.[22]

In 2018 Air Chathams acquired an ATR 72-500 from Mount Cook Airline. The ATR 72-500 runs flights for Tauck Tours in summer seasons, while assisting with peak traffic to Whanganui in the winter.[23][18]

Air Chathams Historic Fleet
Aircraft Total Introduced Retired Notes
Convair 580 5[24] 1984 2021 ZK-KFL operated as a freighter aircraft


  1. ^ Not an IATA allocation-issued for domestic use by Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand.
  2. ^ "Airline operator callsigns" (PDF). Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand. 17 January 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 August 2007.
  3. ^ "Contact Us Archived 9 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine." Air Chathams. Retrieved on 29 November 2011. "Address:North Road, Te One, Chatham Islands, 8942"
  4. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 27 March 2007. p. 55.
  5. ^ "Air Chathams - Growing beyond the Chathams". 10 January 2016. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  6. ^ "Come fly with me, a look at New Zealand's smaller airlines: Air Chathams". Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  7. ^ "About Us - Air Chathams". Air Chathams. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  8. ^ "How China's gift of an aeroplane put Tonga, New Zealand at odds". The Sydney Morning Herald. 25 June 2014.
  9. ^ "Chathams Pacific withdraws, Real Tonga takes off - Business Intelligence - February 2013 - Islands Business magazine". Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
  10. ^ Georgia Nelson. "Flight relief for Whakatane".
  11. ^ "Air Chathams steps in as Air NZ pulls out of Whanganui". 30 May 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  12. ^ "Air Chathams will pick up Paraparaumu to Auckland flight route". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Air Chathams may fly to Norfolk direct from Auckland". Radio New Zealand. RNZ. 12 April 2018.
  14. ^ "Air Chathams to begin weekly service from Auckland to Norfolk Island". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  15. ^ "Destinations for Air Chathams".
  16. ^ "Air Chathams will pick up Paraparaumu to Auckland flight route". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  17. ^ "Air Chathams to begin weekly service from Auckland to Norfolk Island". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  18. ^ a b "3rd Level New Zealand: Air Chathams - Growing beyond the Chathams". 10 January 2016.
  19. ^ "3rd Level New Zealand: 2 more Saabs for Air Chathams". 21 December 2017.
  20. ^ "Our Aircraft". Air Chathams. Archived from the original on 7 November 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2012.
  21. ^ L, Steve (7 March 2017). "3rd Level New Zealand: The News on the Convairs and Aero Commander..." 3rd Level New Zealand. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  22. ^ L, Steve (26 November 2019). "3rd Level New Zealand: NAC getting airborne again". 3rd Level New Zealand. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  23. ^ L, Steve (14 January 2019). "A picture speaks a 1000 words..." 3rd Level New Zealand. Retrieved 15 January 2019.
  24. ^ "3rd Level New Zealand: In the Climb". 8 June 2019.

External links

Media related to Air Chathams at Wikimedia Commons

  • Air Chathams
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