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IATA ICAO Callsign
OG[1] OGN[2] ORIGIN[2]
FoundedMarch 2015
Commenced operations12 August 2015
Operating basesNelson Airport
Fleet size2
HeadquartersNelson, New Zealand
Key people
  • Robert Inglis
Originair Jetstream at Christchurch Airport December 2015

Originair is an airline based in Nelson, New Zealand which operates domestic flights within New Zealand. It was founded in 2015 by local businessman Robert Inglis, who had previously founded Air Nelson and Origin Pacific Airways. Originair commenced operations on 12 August 2015 with flights between Nelson and Palmerston North, with flights between Nelson and Wellington being added the following month. The airline began its operations with one British Aerospace Jetstream 31 aircraft, and now operates a fleet of two aircraft following the addition of a single Jetstream 32 aircraft.[3]



Robert Inglis founded Air Nelson in 1979 with Nicki Smith. Air New Zealand purchased 50 per cent of the airline in October 1988, and then acquired the remaining share in 1996. The airline still exists today as one of Air New Zealand's regional subsidiaries, operating turboprop aircraft on domestic routes under the Air New Zealand Link brand. Inglis and Smith subsequently founded Origin Pacific Airways in 1996, to provide regional flights around New Zealand. It had a code-share agreement with Qantas' New Zealand subsidiary Jetconnect between 2001 and 2004, allowing Origin Pacfic's regional flights to connect with the larger airline's domestic and international routes. The termination of the code-share agreement resulted in Origin Pacific Airways losing 60% of its business, and the airline eventually went into liquidation in 2006. [4]


In 2015, Nelson businessman Robert Inglis founded Originair in response to Air New Zealand's termination of direct flights between Nelson and Palmerston North. Due to the small size of the airline, flight operations were contracted out to Air Freight NZ, although the planes were painted in Originair's livery. The airline commenced operations on 12 August 2015 when flights between Nelson and Palmerston North began. Flights between Nelson and Wellington began the following month on 13 September 2015.

In February 2016, issues with Air Freight NZ's operating certificate led to the grounding of the Jetstream aircraft by New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The issues were stated to be "very specific to the particular operation" of Originair. Originair briefly contracted an alternative company, Airwork, to operator its flights using Metroliner aircraft,[5] although when this arrangement terminated at the end of March 2016, Originair temporarily ceased operations.[6]

In July 2016 the airline announced it had resolved most of its CAA issues and would resume flights in September 2016 under the operation and Air Operating Certificate of Inflite Charters. It was announced that flights would resume between Nelson and Palmerston North, which had lacked a direct flight while Originair's operations were suspended, but flights between Nelson and Wellington would not resume because the introduction of Jetstar had made the route too competitive.[7]

On 23 September 2016, Originair recommenced regular scheduled services between Nelson and Palmerston North, with flights being operated by air2there using Cessna Grand Caravans and Piper Chieftains.[8] Flights with Originair's own aircraft resumed in June 2017. Originair added a new route from Nelson to New Plymouth on 29 September 2017.[9] Napier will be added to their network from 28 September 2018.[10]


Originair operates scheduled services to the following destinations within New Zealand:

Destination Airport Start End Status
Napier Napier Airport 28 September 2018 Current
Nelson Nelson Airport 12 August 2015 Current
New Plymouth New Plymouth Airport 29 September 2017 Current
Palmerston North Palmerston North Airport 12 August 2015 Current
Wellington Wellington International Airport 13 September 2015 31 March 2016 Terminated

In addition to the schedule destinations above, Originair operates charter flights throughout New Zealand.[11]


The Originair fleet consists of the following aircraft:[12]

Originair Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers
British Aerospace Jetstream 31
British Aerospace Jetstream 32
Total 2 0


  1. ^ Not an IATA allocation - issued for domestic use by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
  2. ^ a b Not an ICAO allocation - issued for domestic use by the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand
  3. ^ Basham, Laura. "New airline Originair set to go". The Nelson Mail. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  4. ^ "About Originair". Originair. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
  5. ^ Redmond, Adele. "CAA investigating Originair operator Air Freight NZ over safety concerns". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  6. ^ Moore, Bill. "Nelson's Originair grounding should be over soon says Inglis". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  7. ^ Redmond, Adele (7 July 2016). "Originair resumes flights to Palmerston North". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 8 July 2016.
  8. ^ http://originair.co.nz/news/
  9. ^ https://originair.co.nz/news/
  10. ^ "Airline to launch direct flights between Napier, New Plymouth and Palmerston North". Stuff.co.nz. 3 August 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2018.
  11. ^ http://originair.co.nz/booking-and-schedule/
  12. ^ Neal, Tracy (25 June 2015). "Origin founder rises again". Radio NZ. Retrieved 3 July 2015.