There is only one Cessna 172 that has formed part of the Air New Zealand schedule albeit in one of its subsidiaries, Air Nelson.
Cessna 172N, ZK-EOX (172-72561), was registered to Associated Aviation (Motueka) Ltd on the 14th of August 1980. In 1985 the airline operations part of Associated Aviation (Motueka) was transferred to Motueka Air Ltd which later operated as Air Nelson .
The Cessna was used on Air Nelson’s scheduled six day a week service from Motueka to Takaka which was primarily for the cartage of the Nelson Evening Mail. Flight 8242 left Motueka Monday to Saturday at 2.40pm arrinving at Takaka 20 minutes later. A five minute turn around and the plane returned to Mot. Passengers were flown, space permitting (especially to Takaka) and connections were available at Motueka to and from Wellington and thence to the rest of the Air New Zealand network. Despite the fact that the timetable says it was a PAH (Piper aircraft) that flew the service it was usually ZK-EOX. This proved a good workshorse for the service, thought at times the weight of the newspapers necessitated it flying around Separation Point to Takaka run than up and over the Takaka Hill.
The Cessna was sold to Associated Aviation (Wellington) on 4 December 1996 when they took over Air Nelson's Motueka operation.
I am fairly sure the flying of the Nelson Evening Mail to Golden Bay has ended some years ago so ending a long tradition of flying the Nelson Evening Mail which went back to Golden Coast Airways and the Nelson Aero Club in the 1960s. In the North Island the last daily newspaper service was Air Discovery’s flying the NZ Herald from Rotorua to Gisborne which I’m told ended on 20 June 2008. (http://3rdlevelnz.blogspot.com/2010/03/discovering-air-discovery.html). In the South Island Sounds Air continue to fly the Dominion Post from Wellington to Blenheim and Nelson Monday to Saturday.
As always some questions…
• Was the Motueka-Takaka operated before Associated Aviation (Motueka)? If so who by?
• I am pretty sure the newspaper service ended at some point... Has anyone got any idea when?
Please post a comment or email me at email@example.com