10 years after its sister company, Texel Air Bahrain, was founded in the Middle East by New Zealand aviation entrepreneur, John Chisholm, Texel Air Australasia has now been launched on the other side of the world, back in his homeland.
Following in its sister’s footsteps, Texel Air Australasia has also, theoretically, started out with a fleet of two: in this case, “Vera” and “Samantha”. These particular ladies are both in their
early twenties with long experience at a number of airlines (including Air New Zealand, no less) before ending up in the Texel Air group. The end of last month saw Vera, alias ZK-TXE, officially
transfer from Bahrain to Texel Air Australia. Vera is not only the first aircraft to be registered under Texel Air Australasia, but also New Zealand's first B737-800BCF. “Samantha” (A9C–APC and a
B737-300F), belonging to and operated by Texel Air Bahrain, has already been flying across New Zealand on behalf of NZ Post and Parceline Express since 03APR23: contracts that Texel Air
Australasia will now fulfil.
Revitalizing Hamilton Airport
“Here it is! Our very first aircraft was delivered to us today all the way from Bahrain in the Middle East. This was a 15,000km+ journey requiring stops in BKK and DRW before landing at Hamilton Airport NZ today. Thank you to our team here; and in Bahrain for making this big step a reality!” These were the words on Texel Air Australasia’s LinkedIn page, three weeks ago, upon welcoming “Vera”. She had been sent to Hamilton (HLZ) first, for maintenance at Ham Aero, prior to taking up official scheduled services. Upon arrival in HLZ, Vera was met by Texel Air management and staff, and given a traditional Māori welcoming ceremony, known as a pōwhiri, made up of a formal speech, singing, and food. Hamilton Airport will be the airline’s maintenance base: a welcome customer, as Hamilton Airport’s group Chief Executive, Mark Morgan, said in a Waikato Times interview: “It’s great to see [a jet landing]. While we haven’t had jet services for a very long time and while this is for maintenance at this point, it just puts the airport very much on the aviation map around the capability of the airport and the infrastructure we have.”
Auckland is its hub
Its designated hub, however, is New Zealand’s busiest airport which handles around 86% of all air cargo within the country and is home to flag carrier Air New Zealand alongside a few charter carriers and regional airlines. Two more B737-800BCFs are due to join Texel Air Australia’s fleet – one in JUL23 and one in OCT23, with the total group fleet comprising 10 freighters by 2026. (Texel Air Bahrain currently operates two B737-700FC aircraft, two B737-800BCF aircraft and one B737-300F aircraft, out of Bahrain International Airport.) By that time, the group plans to “primarily fly in Australia and New Zealand and between the two countries, supporting clients through ACMI services for the express, post and general cargo markets,” according to the press release.
10JUN23 was the celebratory inauguration
Vera’s inaugural flight took place two weeks ago, between Auckland Airport and Christchurch International Airport Limited. Texel Air Australia’s official inauguration took place on Saturday, 10JUN23, in Auckland. Hosted by Boeing, the evening event was held in the NZ Post hangar, in Vera’s presence. Among the VIPs were representatives from Government agencies, delegates from the aviation industry plus major logistics companies from New Zealand and Australia. Representatives of the Bahrain Civil Aviation Authority were also in attendance.
Bringing employment opportunities to Australasia
On the occasion of the inauguration, John Chisholm, Chairman for Texel Air, stated: “We are already very proud of our reputable and successful operation in Bahrain but to have the opportunity to replicate and launch an airline in my home country of New Zealand makes me even more proud. It is the culmination of my life’s work in the cargo and logistics industries in the Middle East. These next steps are sure to create employment opportunities [8 pilot per aircraft, among others] and boost economic growth within New Zealand and Australia. This, of course, could not have been achieved without the long-standing relationship I have developed over the years with the Government of Bahrain, the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunication and the Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs. I sincerely appreciate their continued support of our business development both locally and globally. The opportunity we have to host representatives of the Bahrain Civil Aviation Affairs at our launch, will initiate a permanent relationship with New Zealand’s aviation regulatory authority and in turn unfold further opportunities in the aviation and logistics sectors between the two countries.”
Aiming for the highest performance levels
George Chisholm, Director of Texel Air, added: “Appreciation goes to our employees in both locations for their dedication and support to enable the growth and expansion of our company into a different region of the world,” going on to indicate a long, successful development. The airline’s boiler plate points to its values and plans: “Established in 2022, with its head office located at Auckland International Airport, Texel New Zealand is an ACMI/Charter cargo airline flying B737-800BCF aircraft throughout Australasia. Texel New Zealand is a solutions focused airline operating the latest generation freighter aircraft on behalf of its customers, delivering the highest levels of reliability and schedule performance.”
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