Sounds Air

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Sounds Air
Sounds Air Logo.jpg
IATA ICAO Callsign
Founded 1986
Hubs Wellington International Airport
Fleet size 9
Destinations 9
Headquarters Picton, New Zealand
Key people Cliff Marchant (Director/Owner), Andrew Crawford (Managing Director/Owner), Steve Handyside (Director/Owner)
Website Sounds Air
A Sounds Air Cessna Caravan at Wellington International Airport in 2009
Sounds Air Grand Caravan at Picton.
Sounds Air Grand Caravan at Christchurch International Airport in 2014

Sounds Air is a New Zealand airline based at Picton.[2] The airline was founded in 1986 by Cliff and Diane Marchant with a vision to provide low cost flights to the Marlborough Sounds.[3] The airline has its maintenance facility at the Omaka Airfield, Blenheim with its Sounds Aero Maintenance division based there.[4]


From a small one Cessna Caravan operating one route across the Cook Straight, Sounds Air has grown in 30 years to 78,000 passengers in 2015. Back in 2003 the airline carried just 14,000 passengers annually. In 2008 the airline set up its own maintenance division as the airline could not find someone suitable to maintain their fleet.[5]


Sounds Air operates scheduled flights between Wellington and Picton, Nelson, Blenheim, Taupo and Westport.[6][7] Scheduled flights are also available between Blenheim and Christchurch[8] , Napier[9] and Paraparaumu. Nelson also has flights to Paraparaumu.[10] Sounds Air formerly served Kaikoura and Wanganui[11] from Wellington and Kapiti Coast from Picton.[12] A service to Masterton was being considered from Wellington, however no such service eventuated.[13] In addition to scheduled flights Sounds Air offer scenic flights over the Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman National Park.[14]


Sounds Air operate the following aircraft:[15]

Sounds Air Fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Passengers
Cessna 208 B Grand Caravan 3 13
Cessna C208 Caravan 2 13
Pilatus PC-12 4[16] 9

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 19 March 1989 Britten Norman BN2A Islander, ZK-SFE, while attempting to land at Tiraora Lodge struck a telephone wire and descended into the sea. The pilot and five passengers were rescued but suffered varying degrees of injury.[17]
  • On 29 January 1996 Cessna 208 Caravan, ZK-SFA, crashed into the eastern slopes of Mount Robertson on approach to Picton Aerodrome at Koromiko after a flight from Wellington. All five passengers were killed, but the pilot survived.[18]


External links[edit]