Mainland Air

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Mainland Air
Mainland Air hangar at Dunedin International Airport in 2009
IATA ICAO Callsign
MD[1] MLD[2] Mainland[3]
Founded 1991
Operating bases Dunedin International Airport, Dunedin, New Zealand
Fleet size 19
Destinations 2 (scheduled)
Parent company Enfield Holdings Ltd
Headquarters Dunedin, New Zealand
Key people Phillip & Shirley Kean (Managers)

Mainland Air Services is a general aviation, flight training and air charter company operating out of Dunedin International Airport in New Zealand.[4]


Mainland Air was established in 1991 by Queenstown businessman Christopher Kelliher. From 1995 to 2006 the airline operated courier flights for New Zealand Post between Dunedin and Christchurch. Later in 2007 the airline started a thrice weekly Dunedin to Alexandra and Queenstown service using a ten-seater Piper Chieftain.[5] In March 2008 Mainland started a thrice weekly Dunedin to Invercargill service also using its Piper Chieftain aircraft. At that time Mainland were also considering services to Wanaka and Te Anau. Later all these scheduled services were dropped due to lack of demand. Late 2009 Chris Kelliher sold the company to the Paterson family who owned Mainland’s major maintenance provider, Southair Ltd [6][7]


Mainland Air hangar at Dunedin Airport in 2009

Mainland Air Services provides charter flights throughout New Zealand. Its scenic flights visit popular destinations such as Milford Sound, Mount Aspiring/Tititea, Aoraki/Mount Cook, Fiordland, Omarama, Stewart Island/Rakiura, Taiaroa Heads and the Queenstown area.[8] As well as operating air ambulance transfer flights, Mainland Air provides charter flights for medical specialists from Dunedin to Invercargill and Alexandra several times per week on behalf of the Southern District Health Board.[9]

Mainland Air also operates a flying training school, called Mainland Aviation College.[10]

A scheduled service began on 4 June 2014 linking Oamaru and Christchurch using Piper Chieftain aircraft.[11] This service ended due to lack of patronage three months later.[12]

Flights linking Timaru and Wanaka to Christchurch, and Oamaru to Wellington have also been discussed.[13][14]


Some of the Mainland Air fleet at Dunedin Airport

Mainland Air operates the following aircraft:[15]

Aircraft Number Notes
Cessna 152 14 Flying school training aircraft
Cessna 172 1 Flying school training aircraft
Piper PA-31-350 Chieftain 1
Piper PA-34 Seneca III 1
Socata TB-10 Tobago 1 Flying school training aircraft


External links[edit]