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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 Whakatane, and Auckland and Whanganui. Its main base is Chatham Islands / Tuuta Airport.[4]

Air Chathams
Air Chathams logo.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
Operating basesAuckland Airport,
Chatham Islands Airport
Fleet size16
HeadquartersChatham Islands
Key peopleCraig Emeny (CEO)
Duane Emeny (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 on the tarmac at Whakatane Airport. The aircraft is used exclusively by the airline to maintain a scheduled air service between the Bay of Plenty town and Auckland International Airport.
Air Chathams Saab 340 at Auckland Airport in 2016



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. 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.[6]

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.[7] Air Chathams management decided not to compete with the new airline, Real Tonga, and ceased all Tongan operations.[8] With the Air New Zealand regional route cut backs, Air Chathams began serving the Auckland to Whakatane route on 29 April 2015,[9] Auckland to Whanganui on 31 July 2016[10] and Auckland to Kapiti Coast from 20 August 2018.[11]

In mid 2018, the airline announced that it was looking to re-establish flights between Auckland and Norfolk Island.[12] 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.[13]



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

Air Chathams Fleet
Aircraft Total Passengers
Convair 580 5 50
ATR 72-500 1 68
Douglas DC-3 1 25
Fairchild Metro III 4 19
Aero Commander 690A 1 4
Cessna 206 1 5
Saab 340 3[14] 34
Total 16

The Convair 580s, 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.[15]

In 2018 Air Chathams acquired an ATR 72-500 from Mount Cook Airline. The ATR 72-500 will run flights for Tauck Tours.[16]


  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. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  3. ^ "Contact Us Archived 2015-09-09 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". Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  6. ^ "About Us - Air Chathams". Air Chathams. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  7. ^ "How China's gift of an aeroplane put Tonga, New Zealand at odds". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 13 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ Georgia Nelson. "Flight relief for Whakatane".
  10. ^ "Air Chathams steps in as Air NZ pulls out of Whanganui". Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Air Chathams will pick up Paraparaumu to Auckland flight route". NZ Herald. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
  12. ^ "Air Chathams may fly to Norfolk direct from Auckland". Radio New Zealand. RNZ. 12 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Air Chathams to begin weekly service from Auckland to Norfolk Island". NZ Herald. Retrieved 8 April 2019.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Our Aircraft". Air Chathams.
  16. ^ L, Steve (14 January 2019). "A picture speaks a 1000 words..." 3rd Level New Zealand. Retrieved 15 January 2019.

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