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Evans Bay — Wellington's first international airport

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Author Topic: Evans Bay — Wellington's first international airport  (Read 2510 times)
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Having fun in the hills!

« on: February 13, 2011, 11:49:37 pm »

On 31st December 1951 ZK-AMN “Awatere” is berthed at TEAL's Evans Bay terminal for the first scheduled departure to Sydney using the new international terminal building and braby pontoon.

A Solent flying-boat approaching TEAL's Evans Bay terminal on 12th January 1952 then being towed back into the braby pontoon.

A TEAL Solent docked at the Evans Bay terminal on 16th April 1954 about two months before the flying-boat service to Sydney ended.

• CLICK HERE to view more photographs of TEAL's Short Solent flying-boat operations at Evans Bay, Wellington.

TEAL operated four return Solent services a week from Sydney to Wellington as an extension of their Auckland to Sydney services.

Flights from Sydney to Auckland were scheduled to take seven hours, departing Sydney on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10:30pm (Australian Eastern Time) and arriving at Wellington the following morning at 7:30am (NZ Standard Time). The return trips departed Wellington on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 11:00am and arrived at Rose Bay, Sydney at 4:15pm, with a scheduled flight duration of seven hours fifteen minutes.

The one-way fare was NZ£28 0s 0d or A£35 0s 0d and the return fare was NZ£50 8s 0d or A£63 0s 0d.

TEAL's Short S.45A Solent Mk.4 flying-boat services between Auckland-Sydney and Auckland-Nadi (Fiji) ended at about the same time the Wellington-Sydney services ceased in June 1954.

ZK-AML “Aotearoa II” and ZK-AMN “Awatere” were sold to Aquila Airways.

ZK-AMM “Ararangi” was cut up for scrap at Auckland following an engine fire during maintenance.

ZK-AMO “Aranui” continued on the Coral Route between Fiji-Western Samoa-Aitutaki (Cook Islands)-Tahiti, as well as Fiji-Tonga until September 1960, when it flew back to Auckland and was retired.

ZK-AMO is on display at Auckland's Museum of Transport and Technology along with an ex-RNZAF S.25 Sunderland Mk.5 flying-boat.

TEAL's four Solent Mk.4s (construction numbers SH.1556, SH.1557, SH.1558 and SH.1559) were the last big Short flying-boats to be manufactured. They were built at the Short & Harland factory at Belfast in 1949.

TEAL also operated a Short Solent Mk.3, ZK-AMQ “Aparima” (S.1296) which previously flew with BOAC as G-AKNR “City of Belfast” and before the Solent conversion was Seaford NJ204 with the Royal Air Force. It was scrapped at Auckland in 1957.
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