|De Havilland 83 Fox Moth, ZK-AGM, at Christchurch. Photo R Killick|
|De Havilland DH89A ZK-AHS. Photo Ed Coates Collection|
With the NAC take over the northern service to Nelson Greymouth was dropped as a stopover and the service flew from Hokitika to Westport and on to Nelson. NAC’s first northbound service from Hokitika was flown on the 1st of October 1947 by Commander J F Cane in Dragon Rapide ZK-AHS. The southbound flight was disrupted when the Dominie developed engine trouble and the flight did not operate until the following day.
NAC operated to five destinations south of Hokitika according to its timetable; Wataroa (Whataroa), Waiho (Franz Josef), Weheka (Fox Glacier) Haast and Okuru. The first southbound flight took place on the 1st of October 1947 with Commander Frank Molloy flying de Havilland 83 Fox Moth ZK-AGM, Matuhi to Haast and Okuru.
Some six weeks later, on the 17th of November 1947, the northern air service was changed. The Hokitika-based Dragon Rapide operated a shuttle service which flew only as far north as Westport where passengers transhipped to and from the Corporation’s new Lockheed L10 Electra service to and from Nelson and Wellington. The Electra service to Wellington was operated with the larger Lockheed Lodestars from late 1948.
|NAC's West Coast timetable, effective 2 August 1948|
|Miles M65 Gemini 1A ZK-AQO taken at the old Hokitika's Southside Aerodrome. Photo : I Woolhouse Collection|
|First day cover to mark the opening of Hokitika Airport|
|Lockheed Lodestar ZK-AKW at Hokitika. Photo : I Woolhouse Collection|
|De Havilland Dominie ZK-AKU at Franz Josef. Photo from NAC Airline Review, December 1956|
|NAC's timetable, effective 16 December 1955, including West Coast services|
Meanwhile NAC were still keen to withdraw from the South Westland service. Agreement was finally reached with Southern Scenic Air Services Ltd and the NAC South Westland air service was handed over to a subsidiary of Southern Scenic Air Services’, West Coast Airways Ltd., in November 1956. On the 16th of November NAC’s South Westland service was taken over by West Coast Airways and the inaugural flight was operated by de Havilland DH89A Dragon Rapide ZK-AHS on a Hokitika-Haast return service on the 19th of November 1956.
For more on NAC service's to Hokitika see...