Qantas New Zealand.
The in-depth histories of the individual aircraft that were operated by Qantas New Zealand.
In 1984 Newmans Airways Limited, trading as Newmans Air and based in Nelson, New Zealand, was established by the Newmans Group which was best known for their excellent Coach Tour operations.
Newmans Air commenced operation on February 13, 1985 using a fleet of two de Havilland Canada DHC-7s, providing 3 flights a day between Christchurch and Queenstown, 2 flights a day between Christchurch and Rotorua and 1 flight per day between Rotorua and Auckland. Stops at Glentanner on the Queenstown service was added a few months after startup.
Ansett Australia had long held ambitions to fly domesically in New Zealand. In 1986 Ansett purchased a 50% shareholding in Newmans Air while Brierley Investments acquired a 27.5% shareholding. Together they formed a new company, Bilmans Management, to operate as Ansett New Zealand. By December 1985 the original Newmans DHC-7s were replaced by two de Havilland Canada DHC-8s.
In 1987 Ansett New Zealand commenced main trunk route operations in competition with Air New Zealand. An initial fleet of four Boeing 737-100s was obtained while the DHC-8 fleet was increased to 7 aircraft to operate the regional services.
The Ansett New Zealand fleet was updated in 1989. The original fleet of Boeing 737-100s was replaced with British Aerospace 146s (3 BAe146-200 and 9 BAe1460-300) aircraft.
In 1996 Air New Zealand made a bid to purchase Ansett Australia. However the New Zealand regulators stipulated that before this purchase could proceed Anett Australia and Ansett New Zealand had to be separated. The Ansett New Zealand arm was sold to News Corporation.
On September 03, 2000 Ansett New Zealand collapsed. It was sold to a new company that had been previously established by a group of New Zealand businessmen. This company was Tasman Pacific Airlines of New Zealand.
The following day Tasman Pacific Airlines, trading as Qantas New Zealand, commenced operations. Tasman Pacific Airlines had secured a franchise agreement with Qantas Airways, Australia. This was the first time that Qantas Airways had given permission for their name to be used in a franchise operation.
The Qantas New Zealand fleet of eight BAe146s were leased from Bilmans Management while the six DHC-8s were leased from Ansett.
On April 21, 2001 Tasman Pacific Airlines trading as Qantas New Zealand ceased flying, just 203 days after its promising startup.
Qantas Australia immediately withdrew its name from the franchise and implemented an emergency solution to fill the void left by the closure of Qantas New Zealand.
The longterm Qantas solution was the establishment of its own New Zealand based airline - Qantas Jetconnect.