1976
1983

 

DATE
EVENT
SOURCE


1973
1973
Small charter operator Air Norfolk was formed on Norfolk Island to operate charter flights from the Island to Brisbane or to the closest Australian point, Lord Howe Island to the south. A local resident, Charles Herman, along with a number of residents were behind the new venture. A Beechcraft Baron was leased to operate the flights.
12
1974
17AUG74
Charles Herman's Beech Baron VH-EYH operated Brisbane-Norfolk Island with Tony Snel as pilot. Although Charles Herman owned the aeroplane and was a pilot he was VFR only and occasionally engaged IFR rated pilots to fly for him.
10
SEP74
A new company, Norfolk Island Airlines Limited was formed, shareholders being Charles Herman and many local residents. This company became the operating company with previous activities merged into it.
12
18AUG74
Charles Herman's Beech Baron VH-EYH operated Norfolk Island-Brisbane with Tony Snel as pilot. During these flights, discussions were held about forming an airline to fulfil Charles Herman's dream of having a Norfolk based airline. Tony Snel advised that the Baron was totally unsuitable and suggested that he charter the Bandag Turbo Commander VH-BSS with Tony Snel as pilot to operate weekend flights to Norfolk Island. He further advised that this arrangement would enable Charles Herman to evaluate the operation without committing too much money.
10
14SEP74
First flight with VH-BSS: Tony Snel operated the first flight to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS. This flight departed from Archerfield as it carried only freight which included pork carcasses. Shipping freight to Norfolk was problematic because bad weather often prevented ships from unloading on to lighters.
10
28SEP74
Tony Snel operated the second flight to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS. This flight also operated from Archerfield as it was freight only.
10
14OCT74
Tony Snel operated the first passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
02NOV74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
09NOV74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
16NOV74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
23NOV74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
30NOV74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
07DEC74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
14DEC74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
15DEC74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
15DEC74
Turbo Commander VH-ATF was noted at the International Terminal at Brisbane Eagle Farm. The aircraft flew to Norfolk Island on this day for demonstrations to NIA directors. Although the aircraft was painted with Norfolk Island Airlines titles to impress the directors, a sale did not eventuate and the aeroplane never operated a service for NIA. At the time the aircraft was registered to Airfast Commander, Mascot.
1/10
21DEC74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS. This was the first flight to operate via Lord Howe Island.
10
22DEC74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
28DEC74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk via Lord Howe with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
29DEC74
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk via Lord Howe with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
1975
04JAN75
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
11JAN75
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
18JAN75
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
25JAN75
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
27JAN75
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS. This flight operated via Tontouta (Noumea) with a spare wheel for a Qantas aircraft.
10
02FEB75
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
08FEB75
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
15FEB75
Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
22FEB75
Last flight with VH-BSS: Tony Snel operated a passenger flight from Brisbane to Norfolk with the Turbo Commander VH-BSS.
10
26FEB75
An order for a single Beechcraft King Air 200 propjet was announced with details published in the local newspaper, The Norfolk Island News. The announcement said that the new aircraft would be delivered in July or August but in the meantime, the airline would charter a King Air B90 (VH-CMT) which will be based on Norfolk Island. Initial flights would commence on 1 March and operate Brisbane-Lord Howe Island-Norfolk Island. Next day, the return flight to Norfolk Island operated the reverse of the previous day. The flight for 3 March repeated the initial flight. Following this first week, flights would operate to a similar pattern to the first week and would operate Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. It was announced that, subject to sufficient patronage, flights would be operated to Noumea and Auckland on Monday, Thursday and Fridays.
12
01MAR75
"During this time, Charlie Herman had been talking to me about setting up the airline properly. Also we were under pressure from the Department of Civil Aviation to do the same because up to that time operations were conducted under Bandag's operations manual. While the board loved the Turbo Commander and it was cheap to buy, it was not really suitable so I put a lot of pressure on the board to adopt the Super King Air as the nearest suitable aircraft if we could talk Beechcraft into setting one up for us. After a lot of meetings the board agreed to this and it was decided that we would lease a King Air 90 as an interim aircraft. I joined NIA as Chief Pilot and a director on 1st March 1975."
10
01MAR75
First Flight with VH-CMT: Tony Snel operated the first service Brisbane-Norfolk Island with King Air 90 VH-CMT which was leased from Hawker de Havilland. The aircraft wore the green and gold colours of its former owner Thiess Bros but with Norfolk Island Airlines titles.
10
02APR75
Last flight with VH-CMT: Tony Snel operated the last service with King Air 90 VH-CMT.
10
03APR75
First Flight with VH-BIB: Tony Snel operated the first service Brisbane-Norfolk Island with King Air 90 VH-BIB which was leased from Hawker de Havilland. The aircraft wore the blue and white colours of its previous owner Bib Stillwell who was the Australian agent for Beechcraft. The only reason the aircraft was changed was that VH-CMT was unexpectedly sold. Fortunately Hawker de Havilland were able to immediately replace it with VH-BIB. VH-CMT was reregistered N114KA on 17APR75.
10
JUN75
The airline's second pilot, Geoff Kendall was employed at the end of June.
10
08AUG75
Super King Air N9730S departed the Beechcraft factory in Wichita, Kansas on delivery to Australia flown by Tony Snel. Ferry route was Wichita-Boston-St John-Shannon-Paris-Athens-Damascus-Dubai-Karachi-Colombo-Singapore-Bali-Darwin-Brisbane. The only passenger was Gerald Goudie, a company director.
10
15AUG75
Super King Air N9730S arrived at Archerfield.
10
29AUG75
Super King Air N9730S was entered on the Australian Register as VH-IBC.
8
30AUG75
Last flight with VH-BIB: Geoff Kendall operated the last service with King Air 90 VH-BIB.
10
27AUG75
Beech 200 VH-IBC noted undergoing predelivery checks at Hawker de Havilland Archerfield.
1
31AUG75
First Flight with VH-IBC: Beech 200 VH-IBC entered service Brisbane-Norfolk Island flown by Tony Snel. Around this time Tony Snel relinquished his role as a director to make way for newly recruited local shareholders.
"All round, the Department of Civil Aviation at the time were very supportive of us and assisted us with everything they could. For Beechcraft, VH-IBC was a first, establishing the Super King Air as a mini-airliner with many derivatives to follow."
10
02OCT75
NIA commenced licenced RPT Flights Brisbane to Norfolk Island. Closed charter Norfolk Island to Lord Howe Island commenced.
12
16DEC75
Opening of Brisbane's Temporary International Terminal at Boronia Road.
1
20DEC75
NIA handling agent at Brisbane changed from Ansett to Qantas as Ansett did not then have representation at the newly opened Temporary International Terminal.
2
1977
03MAR77
The Directors of the company announced that 1976 had been an excellent year for the airline, declaring a 10% dividend for all shareholders as at 31 December 1976. Passengers carried were 3,979. A note to the announcement stated "The Norfolk Island community can be proud of this fully Norfolk Island owned company."
12
01APR77
It was announced that Judy Jarvis had been appointed Acting Chairman of N.I.A. pending the appointment of a General Manager. Judy Jarvis and her husband were major shareholders in the company
12
15JUN77
Beech 200 VH-IBC noted with the new company logo on tail.
1
11JUL77
Beech 200 VH-IBC air-to-air photography over Brisbane CBD. Flown by Tony Snel.
1
19JUL77
Death of Charles Albert Herman (24/11/17 - 19/7/77). During the funeral, Tony Snel performed a low flypast in VH-IBC to honour the company founder. Unfortunately this caught the attention of a DCA examiner who happened to be on the island at the time. An endorsement on the Super King Air and a duty free shopping trip to Norfolk were much prized by DCA examiners, all of whom were trained by Tony Snel.
5/10
30SEP77
Tony Snel took delivery of Beech 200 N23765 (the future VH-IBD) at Wichita.
10
01OCT77
Beech 200 N23765 departed Wichita.
10
07OCT77
Beech 200 N23765 arrived BNE. Later VH-IBD.
1
21OCT77
Beech 200 N23765 entered on to the Australian Register as VH-IBD.
8
24OCT77
"Beech 200 VH-IBD entered service bearing the name Charles Herman with 12 VIPs mostly from the Department of Civil Aviation including the director of the DCA Mike Seymour. The party overnighted in Norfolk for a celebratory dinner and the next day the 25th flew back to Brisbane via Lord Howe. Unfortunately on climbing out of Lord Howe we suffered dense smoke which smelled oily (I'd flown this thing half way around the world and now this with VIPs as well) I turned around, descended quickly and depressurised the cabin which got rid of most of the smoke and landed back on Lord Howe. IBC was dispatched from Brisbane to pick up the VIPs. This was the only drama I have had with the King Airs. The fault was a pipe cracked and sprayed oil which was sucked into the engine and burned causing the smoke. Eventually these pipes were changed for one with a thicker wall."
10
1978
JAN-FEB78
A new company associated with the airline company but not a subsidiary, Norfolk Island Airlines Booking Office was formed in Brisbane to promote Norfolk Island and later, Lord Howe Island. The new company handled all bookings and heavily promoted tourist activities for the Island.
12
78
NIA commenced night freight flights Brisbane-Cairns for Ansett Air Freight.
12
13SEP78
The Fifth Annual General Meeting of the company was held on Norfolk Island with 37 shareholders in attendance. Shareholders were given the news that the company had made a disappointing loss of $155,000. Directors advised nearly $100,000 were non-recurring abnormal expenses with the balance due to the Australian economic decline. During the 12 months, the airline carried 6,608 passengers, up from 4,954 the previous year. Directors said for the company to achieve its potential, it required more capital and more specialised expertise than what the Island can offer. The meeting confirmed Messrs Ian Kenny, John Brown, Bernard Christian-Bailey, Phillip Page and Mrs Judy Jarvis were elected to the Board.
12
1979
79
Additional night freight flights began. A weekly closed charter service between Melbourne and Lord Howe Island commenced.
12
15JUL79
Beech 200 VH-KTE noted operating an NIA service with Katies titles.
1
15JUL79
Beech 200 VH-IBE noted in service in blue delivery colours and no titles.
1
15JUL79
Beech 200 VH-IBC, IBD, IBE & KTE photographed together at the Brisbane Temporary International Terminal. At this time VH-KTE was still carrying Katies titles and VH-IBE had nil titles.
1
23NOV79
Beech 200 VH-IBE noted in service with NIA titles. Probably applied much earlier.
1
1980
80
NIA entered into an agreement with Air Pacific to operate their service from Fiji to Tarawa via Funafuti with Beech 200 aircraft. This agreement lasted for approximately four months until deliveries of Air Pacific's Bandeirantes were completed.
12
80
Plans were announed to operate between Brisbane and Adelaide via Canberra but these never eventuated. Financial problems overtook the company at the end of 1980 and a provisional liquidator was appointed. The outcome had creditors approve a scheme to allow the company to trade out its difficulties. The financial problems caused two King Air aircraft, VH-IBE and VH-KTE, to be sold, while services were pruned with only VH-IBC being used on regular services. The remaining aircraft VH-IBD, was leased out to Coddair Airlines and used by Norfolk during peak periods. Management of the company was moved to Brisbane although all 76 shareholders were residents of Norfolk Island.
12
01NOV80
Beech 200 VH-KTE noted with full NIA titles. Probably applied much earlier.
1
01DEC80
Directors of Norfolk Island Airlines called upon the Island Administrator to give an outline of the company's position to the afternoon Assembly meeting of the Island Admistration. The Directors explained that earlier that day, they had petitioned the Island's Supreme Court to appoint Provisional Liquidators to Norfolk Island Airlines Limited. This was granted with the Court appointing Mr. Wilson Wild and Mr. Laurie Force from Brisbane. It was noted the company would continue to trade under ''Provisional Liquidation'' with the aim of reorganising to trade its way out of their financial problems.
12
1981
07JAN81
It was reported in the press that Brisbane based Lionel Freedman had been appointed Receiver/Manager by the Provisional Liquidators. One of his first actions was to close the Norfolk Island base and re-establish it in Brisbane - a most unpopular event, heavily criticised by Island residents.
12
15APR81
Beech 200 VH-IBC was operating a night freighter flight from Mackay to Brisbane. At top of descent, Captain Graham Syphers found that the elevators and trim tab would not move and it was deduced that they had iced up. By reducing power, the aircraft descended into warmer air where the ice melted and elevator control was restored. Despite an exhaustive investigation, engineers could not positively identify the source of the problem.
3
20APR81
Beech 200 VH-IBC was inbound from Lord Howe Island when the problem returned. On this occasion, the elevators had to be freed with manual force. On arrival at Brisbane, engineers found a large block of ice over the elevator bellcranks in the rear fuselage. During subsequent rectification work, engineers also found small cracks either side of the rear pressure bulkhead. These cracks were repaired with a series of external doubler plates around the rear fuselage. This work resulted in VH-IBC being out of service for nearly a week.
3
24APR81
Beech 200 VH-MXK operated flight NIA1301A from Brisbane to Lord Howe Island with 2 passengers. The aircraft was chartered from Hazelton Air Services to cover the unserviceability of VH-IBC. The aircraft operated in full Hazelton colours and markings.
4
24APR81
Beech 200 VH-MXK operated flight NIA1304A from Lord Howe Island to Brisbane with 11 passengers.
4
24APR81
Beech 200 VH-MXK operated flight NIA211A from Brisbane to Norfolk Island with 10 passengers.
4
25APR81
Beech 200 VH-MXK operated flight NIA212A from Norfolk Island to Brisbane with 9 passengers.
4
26APR81
Beech 200 VH-IBC returned to service.
4
1982
14OCT82
Beech 200 DQ-FDS (formerly VH-IBE) operating on lease to Fiji Air was landed wheels up at Nausori, Suva owing to a failed undercarriage actuator. Pilot John Balson.
7
1984
MAR84
An improving financial position under the receivership allowed the airline to again expand and in March 1984, it annouced the acquisition of the Sydney-Lord Howe route from Avdev Airlines along with their King Air VH-AAZ. Norfolk commenced operations on the route and maintained a weekly flight through Newcastle.
12
15MAR84
Norfolk Island Airlines operated their first flight between Sydney and Lord Howe Island with King Air 200 VH-AAZ.
12
28MAY84
Beech 200 VH-IBE was re-registered VH-MKR on sale to Moore's Air Charter of Toowoomba. There was an agreement in place for NIA to charter the aircraft as required.
8/12
JUL84
The Sydney-Lord Howe route was marketed as Lord Howe Island Airlines to provide a local identity. Coolangatta was included on one of the Brisbane-Lord Howe return flights each week.
12
SEP84
Norfolk Island Airlines Limited came out of Receivership. Lionel Freedman remained Manager of the company. In the period, a new holding company, Norfolk Airlines Limited was formed to become the operating company and holder of any subsidiaries that may be acquired.
12
30SEP84
Beech 200 VH-IBC noted with dual Norfolk Island Airlines & Lord Howe Island Airlines titles.
1
1985
FEB85
King Air VH-IBC passed 20,000 flying hours, acknowledged by Beechcraft as the first of its type to reach this milestone.
12
12MAR85
A direct Toowoomba-Sydney service was commenced. It ceased 12 months later in March 1986.
12
08APR85
Beech 200 VH-AAZ photographed at Brisbane wearing dual Norfolk Island Airlines Lord Howe Island Airlines titles.
1
09JUN85
NIA officially took over the assets of Coddair and a 45% shareholding in Corpair W.A. & Qeensland. The deal reportedly cost Norfolk Island Airlines $1m. At this time Lionel Freedman advised the press that NIA would operate all RPT flights and Corpair would take control of all the group's charter business. The Queensland Government approved the transfer of Coddair licences to NIA except the Blackwater to Longreach, the Brisbane to Dalby and Brisbane to Toowoomba-Goondiwindi-St. George-Cunnamulla and Thargominda services. Services between Brisbane and Toowoomba would be greatly expanded.

Corpair was a Perth based charter company founded around 1982. It acquired Cessna aircraft of various models. It ventured into regular services with a Perth-Narrogin-Katanning service, commencing on 26 May 1983. Due to poor loadings, the serviced ceased with the last flight on 17 October 1983. Further expansion of regular services was cancelled. The company continued to offer charter flights from Perth in connection with the mining industry. There is no publicity about Norfolk Island Airlines taking them over.
12
JUN85
Cessna 421C VH-TRC Change of Ownership to Norfolk Island Airlines, 229 Elizabeth Street, Brisbane.
8
28JUN85
Baron VH-GMM Change of Ownership to Norfolk Island Airlines Operations Pty Ltd, GPO Box 905, Brisbane.
8
11JUL85
Baron VH-GMM Change of Ownership to G. Magoffin, Melrose Station, Winton, Qld.
8
AUG85
Queen Air VH-FDR Change of Ownership to Norfolk Island Airlines, GPO Box 905, Brisbane.
8
07AUG85
Queen Air VH-FDR crashed 37 km NE of Biloela Qld. The pilot, Keith Williams, was killed.
8/9
SEP85
Change of Ownership to Norfolk Island Airlines Operations Pty Ltd, GPO Box 905, Brisbane for the following aircraft:

Baron VH-BAK
Baron VH-EZG
Baron VH-ILU
Queen Air VH-BQA
Queen Air VH-BQL
Queen Air VH-MWH
Beech 200 VH-IBC
Beech 200 VH-IBD
Cessna 402 VH-RUE
8
1986
JAN86
Beech 200 VH-KNR delivered.
1
FEB86
A former Manager of Air Queensland, Mike Childs, was appointed Manager of Norfolk Island Airlines. He quickly announced an overhaul of the business with the aim of concentrating more on areas it knows best, the Pacific region.
12
APR86
NIA surrendered the Rockhampton - Coalfields services to Piccolo Aviation. The Toowoomba service was sold to Sabair Airlines. Both routes were previously flown by Coddair. All Coddair aircraft were sold leaving Norfolk with three King Air aircraft.
12
12APR86
Queen Air VH-BQA sold to Air North, Darwin as VH-ANJ.
8
MAY86
NIA Announced an order for a DASH 8-100 and the opening of a Cairns base to serve local business charters and to expand freight work in North Queensland. The operation will be named Norfolk Pacific Aviation and will operate a King Air which will be based in Cairns.
12
JUL86
Cessna 402B VH-RUE sold to Sabair, Kingaroy.
1
AUG86
The company hosted its reservations on Ansett's Ansamatic system.
12
07AUG86
Queen Air VH-FDR crashed 37 km NE of Biloela Qld. The pilot, Keith Williams, was killed.
1
08AUG86
Queen Air VH-MWH sold to Great Barrier Reef Finance and Land (Garry Poole), Caboolture.
8
14AUG86
Cessna 402B VH-RUE Change of Ownership to Rex Aviation Ltd.
8
29OCT86
Barons VH-BAK, EZG & ILU sold to Hawker Pacific Pty Ltd.
8
1987
23FEB87
Beech 200 VH-IBF noted in Lord Howe Island Airlines livery.
1
25FEB87
Beech 200 VH-KNR re-registered VH-IBF.
8
23MAR87
Queen Air VH-BQL sold to Wolfgang Miners.
8
22APR87
Beech 200 VH-IBC, VH-IBD and VH-AAZ photographed at Lord Howe Island all with simplified Norfolk Airlines titles. VH-AAZ is now in full Norfolk livery.
12
21MAY87
Norfolk Airlines announced they would commence flights on 1 June between Brisbane and the Central Queensland Highlands town, Emerald. Flights would be in competition with Sunstate Airlines. Both airlines were hoping to fill the void left by Air Queensland who were dropping the route from 31 May.
12
26MAY87
Much to the surprise of local Emerald dignatories, Norfolk Airlines announced that they would not be commencing services to Emerald due to competition from Sunstate Airlines.
12
JUL87
A new subsidiary, Norfolk Jet Aviation was formed to acquire freight forwarder, Wards Jet Charter and their two Learjets, VH-WFE and VH-WFJ. The acquision included a three year contract with Wards to carry their freight on the route Darwin-Alice Springs and return to Melbourne and Sydney.
12
29AUG87
Beech 200 VH-IBC noted at Brisbane in Norfolk Pacific Aviation colours but no titles. Norfolk Pacific Aviation was a charter operation based in Cairns and setup under the NIA AOC. The operation was setup by Warren Thomas who had been Senior Base Pilot/Manager of Coddair in Rockhampton. NPA later had its own AOC.
1/9
18OCT87
Beech 200 VH-IBC noted at Brisbane with Norfolk Pacific Aviation titles. Probably applied much earlier.
1
NOV87
NIA announced the purchase of Country Courier operations from Mayne Nickless Limited. Purchase included 2 Mitsubishi MU-2 and 1 Bandeirante.
12
1988
18FEB88
It was announced that Norfolk Island Airlines had submitted an application for the Sydney to Armidale and Sydney to Port Macquarie services when East-West Airlines vacated the route at the instruction of the NSW Department of Transport. Norfolk stated they would purchase a second Dash 8 aircraft.
12
21MAR88
Beech 200 VH-IBC was withdrawn from use after the wings were found to have been overstressed. The aeroplane was photographed at Brisbane Airport on 08DEC88 minus wings, engines and props. The airframe was subsequently scrapped at Archerfield.
8/10
14APR88
Newspapers reported that Norfolk Island Airlines had purchased Sunbird Airlines, the airline operation of Cairns based Helitrans, from the three controlling Directors/Shareholders. Sunbird operated 20 aircraft over a widespread network covering 29 points across the Gulf of Carpentaria and Cape York. The take-over gave Norfolk an expanded coverage of air services along the eastern coast of Queensland. The General Manager of Sunbird, Mr. Dennis Howe, was previously General Manager of Civil Flying Services' Perth operation and then Joint Managing Director of Skywest Airlines. When that company took over Tamworth based East-West Airlines, he retained the same position in the enlarged group. At the time of the take-over, Sunbird were operating the following aircraft:

CAIRNS BASE:
2 Cessna 404 Titans
1 Cessna 421C
3 Cessna 421B
2 Piper Chieftain
1 Piper Navajo
2 Cessna 310R
1 Beechcraft Baron
1 Cessna 210
1 Cessna 206
1 Bell 206B Jetranger

THURSDAY ISLAND BASE:
3 Britten Norman Islander
1 Partenavia
1 Bell 206 Jetranger

WEIPA BASE:
1 Baron
12
JUN88
NIA acquired Flightways Air Services, Perth.
12
19JUN88
Beech 200 VH-SPQ noted in service all white with Norfolk (one word) titles and NPA logo.
1
02AUG88
NIA announced plans to commence a Norfolk Island to Port Vila, Vanuatu regular service. The intention was to operate the service with the new Dash 8 aircraft which would hub at Norfolk Island with flights from Sydney-Lord Howe Island-Norfolk Island and Brisbane to Norfolk Island.
12
09SEP88
Beech 200 VH-NIB photographed at Sydney with low visibility Norfolk Airlines titles.
13
13OCT88
Two Cessna 441 Conquest II arrived at Brisbane from Norving Air Services, Norway. They later entered service with Country Courier.
1
01DEC88
NIA tookover the Mohawk 298 operation from Lloyd Air and renamed it Queensland Pacific Airlines. (Not to be confused with the original Queensland Pacific Airways which was a DC-3 operation created by Ken Thomas and Jim McGowan and based in Cairns.)
9
01DEC88
The assets of Lloyd Aviation were purchased by Norfolk Airlines Limited. This included four Mohawk 298 aircraft VH-HEI, VH-HIX, VH-HKS and VH-HKT and two Piper PA31-350s, VH-HSI and VH-OCF.
12
late 1988
Press reports indicated that the controlling interest in Frank Welsh Nominees Pty Ltd (trading as Flightways) had been acquired by Norfolk Airlines Limited. This company announced their establishment in Perth on 24 June 1982. The company was founded by well known Western Australia aviation identity, Frank Welsh who was involved in the establishment of Skywest Airlines. Welsh was in partnership with the local mining investment group, Barrack House Pty Ltd which was heavily involved in the mining industry which was booming across the state. By late 1988 all references to Barrack House had ceased. On 1 February 1989 Flightways advertising stated that they were a "Member of the Norfolk Airlines group".

Little was heard of the company until the financial troubles of the parent company, Norfolk Airlines Limited became known. Flightways was reported as being profitable and was not put into liquidation but the parent company's Liquidator found the relationship between this company and the parent was such that Flightways could not survive without the support of the parent. Flightways was put into liquidation seven days later and wound up.
12
1989
17JAN89
NIA commenced a twice weekly service to Port Vila using a King Air 200.
12
31JAN89

The Norfolk Airlines subsidiary, Queensland Pacific Airlines acquired Sungold Airlines, taking over all aircraft and licences, the latter being approved by the Queensland Government.

Sungold Airlines Previous History
06DEC86
This company started life in 1986 to operate services from Maroochydore to the Orchid Beach Resort on Fraser Island, and Maroochydore to Coolangatta. The aircraft used were BN2 Islander VH-OCH and Partenavia P-68B VH-IYC. (Not included in Fleet List)
JUL87
With the prospect of expanding their route network, Sungold took delivery of a new Piper PA31-350 VH-OCG. (Not included in Fleet List)
SEP87
Sungold took over the Caloundra-Brisbane route which had been operated for many years by Henebery Aviation.
25OCT87
Sungold expanded services with the additional routes of Brisbane-Caloundra-Brisbane-Gympie and Brisbane to Hervey Bay and Maryborough.
NOV87
The Maroochydore-Coolangatta service ceased.
01MAR88
Sungold took over the Lloyd Aviation routes from Brisbane to Thangool, Emerald and Blackwater, all in Central Queensland. Sungold took over the lease of a Cessna C441 which Lloyd had been leasing from Tillair in the Northern Territory. (Not included in Fleet List)
14MAR88
Sungold commenced a Mackay-Townsville service, a new area for the airline. An EMB110 VH-MWX was leased from Toowoomba based Countryair to operate the service.
JUN88
The EMB110 lease was terminated and Piper PA31-350 VH-NEG was leased from Tamworth based Tamair. (Not included in Fleet List)
01SEP88
Sungold commenced services from Emerald to Clermont, Dysart and Moranbah. At Emerald, a Cessna 411 operated frequent connecting flights to Brisbane. (Not included in Fleet List)
19OCT88
Sungold took delivery of Piper PA31-350 VH-HIS (ex ZK-SDH) replacing the Tamair aircraft.
25NOV88
A new Piper PA31-350 VH-OCF was registered to Sungold.

12
MAY89
The Port Vila service ceased early in the month due to Ansett Airlines pulling out of an arrangement to offer "circle" fares in conjunction with Norfolk Airlines. It was in prospect that Air Vanuatu would operate routes in the area that would make the operation unviable.
12
09SEP89
Dash 8 formerly C-GFQL was registered VH-NID to NIA.
12
25SEP89
Dash 8 VH-NID arrived in Brisbane on delivery from Canada (ex C-GFQL) via Broome and Alice Springs. Initially, the Dash 8 was based at Cairns and operated some of Sunbird Airlines main routes.
12
25OCT89
Islander VH-SBD transferred to Norfolk Island Airlines Ltd (from Sunbird Airlines).
6
05NOV89
Queensland Pacific Airlines wet-leased a Mohawk 298 to the long-time Tasmanian charter company, Par Avion to operate an Essendon-Launceston high frequency air service. Par Avion were aiming to provide services which had been interrupted by the Australia-wide pilots' dispute. Initial destination was Launceston and on 15 December, a daily Essendon-Devonport service was added. Flights were operated with either Mohawks, VH-HEI, VH-HIX or VH-HKS all in the standard Queensland Pacific Airlines marks. An attractive departure lounge was fitted out in the original Essendon Terminal.
12
27NOV89
Press gave details of NIA intention to list on the Australian Stock Exchange to make it easier to raise capital and retire debt. The plan was to buy the Brisbane based non trading public company, Kennedy-Taylor Limited whose electrical business was acquired by their biggest shareholder, Ectec, for $18.5m. Then Kennedy-Taylor would buy all the shares in Norfolk Island Airlines for $16.5m. The payment came from $15.5m and 414,950 shares in Kennedy-Taylor. Further movements in shareholding followed over the following weeks. A shareholders meeting in February approved Kennedy-Taylor changing its name to Norfolk Airlines Limited. Following the changes, NIA owned 83.3% per cent of Norfolk Airlines Limited, the clients of the supervising stock broker, Jarden Morgan 14% and 2.2% held by minority investors. Later it was intended to issue 769,230 shares at $2.60 and obtain a spread of shareholders to be able to claim the company being classed as a public company. Limited trading took place with a low turnover until the shares were suspended by the Directors.
12
22DEC89
Dash 8 VH-NID commenced flying the Sydney to Lord Howe Island service at a high frequency because of the Christmas holidays. Over the period the aircraft operated an unknown number of Lord Howe Island to Norfolk Island flights and a Norfolk Island to Brisbane publicity flight. These two long over-water flights had to be approved by the authorities due to restrictions on twin engined aircraft and long over water flights. Both trial flights were classed as charters and avoided the ETOPS rule.
12
1990
16JAN90
Dash 8 VH-NID commenced operating twice daily Sydney-Narrabri-Moree return services.
12
03FEB90
Commenced operating Ansett Express flights from Sydney to Dubbo on a one month trial. Two Mohawk aircraft were based at Mascot. VH-HEI operated first flight using WX flight numbers. After the successful trial, the Mohawk continued to operate the Dubbo flights.
12
09FEB90
Even though passsenger numbers appeared to be loading well with a satisfactory service, the Par Avion flights ceased abruptly on this day reportedly due to financial problems.
12
MAR90
NIA lost the Security Express contract to Townsville based Jetcraft.
12
28JUN90
Beech 200 VH-IBD Change of Ownership to Sunbird Airlines Pty Ltd.
8
17OCT90
Correspondence from Countryair indicates that the company went into provisional liquidation on 16 October and is no longer operating any scheduled services. "It is believed that Norfolk Airlines will be operating services through northern NSW within a short period of time."
12
01NOV90

The operations of Sunbird Airlines were merged into Norfolk Pacific Aviation, both subsidiaries of Norfolk Airlines. The merged fleet on this date listed:

Ex Sunbird
EMB110 VH-FCK, VH-FCG
Cessna 404 VH-SBG
Cessna 421 VH-CSF, VH-TWH, VH-SBJ
BN2 Islander VH-INB, VH-INO

Ex Norfolk Pacific
Beech 200 VH-IBD, VH-AAZ, VH-NIH
EMB110 VH-KIQ


The merged companies were put under the Sunbird Airlines Pty Ltd company structure and listed trading as Norfolk North Queensland. An undated information sheet published in late November showed the charter side of the company traded as Ellington Pty Ltd trading as Flightways and Norfolk Pacific Aviation. The sheet showed a viable company carrying 145,000 passengers during the last financial year, 65% of revenue came from passenger operations, expected to rise to 80%. The largest shareholder and joint Managing Director, Judy Jarvis foreshadowed more growth with the prospect of additional Dash 8 aircraft. The Company stated it plans to increase its equity in the aircraft fleet over the next two years by capital restructuring.

12
1991
15FEB91
Directors of the Norfolk Airlines group faxed shareholders and the local newspaper, The Norfolk Islander, that the Supreme Court of Queensland this day appointed a Provisional Liquidator to three subsidiaries of Norfolk Airlines Limited. These are Norfolk Island Airlines Pty Ltd, Sunbird Airlines Pty Ltd and Queensland Pacific Airlines Pty Ltd. Directors earlier requested the shares of Norfolk Airlines Limited be suspended from the Stock Exchange pending an annoucement. The fax continued: The parent company, Norfolk Airlines Limited believes that it was still possible to save the company but at a Creditors Meeting where all attending supported a restructuring of the company, the plan was torpedoed by a large creditor, Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Services Pty Ltd. Directors stated they were still hoping to ensure the long term future of the company and retain the 174 staff. The Provisional Liquidator, Mr. Ivor Warrell, said he would be looking at keeping the airlines flying. It was pointed out that Norfolk Pacific Airlines Pty Ltd, Flightways Pty Ltd, Aircraft Leasing Corporation and Norfolk Holdings Limited were not involved in the provisional liquidation. The Hotel group, Hillcrest Hotels Limited, owned by the group and travel agencies in Brisbane and Sydney were not affected by the financial problems of the parent company.
12
01MAR91
All operations of the Norfolk Island group ceased around 1.00pm with the announcement that there was no hope of resuming services. However, the General Manager of the airline, Mr. Michael Childs, optimistically told press representatives that the company was experiencing cash flow problems but was confident these could be overcome. Ansett Express were caught up in the cessation of services when the Mohawk aircraft operating their Sydney-Dubbo flight was ordered to return to Brisbane immediately. (Ansett Express, with a pilot shortage, immediately put two Aeropelican Twin Otter aircraft on the route.)
12
01MAR91
Norfolk Island Airlines and the Norfolk group of companies ceased operations. Last flight was by Dash 8 VH-NID which operated the morning service Sydney-Narrabri-Moree-Sydney crewed by Capt John Balson and F/O Clive McIver. On returning to Sydney the crew was advised that all operations were suspended. Normally, after returning from Moree, the aircraft would have operated a return service to Lord Howe before an evening service Sydney-Narrabri-Moree-Sydney.
7
02MAR91
Dash 8 VH-NID operated a non-revenue service UG422/429 Sydney-Lord Howe Island-Sydney. The service was at the behest of Rothschild Bank.
14
04MAR91
The Australian Financial Review published details of the collapse of Norfolk Airlines Limited stating the company was majority owned by Norfolk Island Airlines Pty Ltd, the Norfolk Island registered company which was 75% owned by Directors Mrs. Judy Jarvis and Mr. John Brown and Managing Director Mr. Keith Jarvis. The remaining shares were held by Island residents.
12
25MAR91
Press reports stated that the Liquidator found a web of inter-company loan accounts which could take over twelve months to sort out. The problem was there were around 15 subsidiary companies all with a similar name, all using the one bank account and cheque book.
12
APR91

The following aircraft were advertised for sale by Aeromil on behalf of the Norfolk liquidator:

Beech 200 VH-AAZ, VH-IBD, VH-IBF, VH-NIA, VH-NIB, VH-NIC, VH-NIH
Bandeirante VH-FCG, VH-FCK, VH-KIQ, VH-MWX, VH-SBH
BN-2 Islander VH-INB, VH-INO
Cessna 404 VH-SBG, VH-SBV, VH-TMU
Cessna 421 VH-CSF, VH-MQZ plus one other unidentified C421.
Cessna 421C VH-SBJ
Cessna 441 VH-TFW, VH-FWA
DHC-8 VH-NID
Mohawk 298 VH-HEI, VH-HIX, VH-HKS, VH-HKT

12
05OCT91
Newspapers carried Public Notices summoning Creditors to be at a Meeting on 22 October to hear reports on the affairs of a number of companies in the Norfolk Airlines group. These were shown as: Norfolk Island Airlines Limited, Norfolk Holdings Limited, Queensland Pacific Aviation Pty Ltd, Norfolk Pacific Aviation Pty Ltd, and Sunbird Airlines Pty Ltd, all shown as "In Liquidation".
12
29DEC91
Bandeirante VH-FCG photographed at Tamworth in full Norfolk livery with Norfolk (one word) titles.
12
1992
JAN92
Ian Millard and Tom Gleeson resumed Mohawk operations under a new AOC in the name of Southern Pacific Regional Airlines (SPRA). The operation was to include two Beech 200 and the Dash 8 but this never eventuated. SPRA ceased operations on 05APR93. The Mohawk operation recommenced as Majestic Airways 03MAY94-18FEB95.
9

 

NORFOLK ISLAND AIRLINES

STATISTICS 1975 - 1990

 

It should be noted that these statistics are as reported to the Department of Transport and its successor organisations by the airline operator. The accuracy of these figures is probably a function of the diligence and workload of the person charged with their compilation.

 

Year
Hours
Flown
Aircraft
Departures
Pax
Carried
RPK
('000)
ASK
('000)
Pax LF
%
1975
229
n/a
508
636.7
1,225.5
51.9
1976
1,305
n/a
3,796
4,267.1
6,687.2
63.8
1977
2,176
844
6,798
7,673.3
10,078.0
76.1
1978
3,001
1,039
6,428
8,325.0
12,023.9
69.2
1979
3,622
1,256
8,392
10,875.8
15,537.3
70.0
1980
4,708
1,563
10,734
13,653.7
19,786.2
69.0
1981
3,535
1,189
8,204
10,282.7
14,458.8
71.1
1982
3,165
1,184
8,537
10,758.8
13,210.0
81.4
1983
2,307
993
6,682
7,794.8
9,735.5
80.1
1984
3,491
1,819
12,101
10,992.9
14,772.9
74.4
1985
5,324
3,592
19,016
14,033.9
20,962.7
66.9
1986
5,597
3,905
20,721
14,689.9
21,576.2
68.1
1987
5,452
2,577
16,159
13,522.0
17,985.0
75.2
1988
5,294
2,641
17,807
14,118.4
18,516.5
76.2
1989
6,495
3,169
19,587
17,618.7
23,952.8
73.6
1990
4,392
3,751
39,168
25,777.1
41,006.4
62.9

 

ABBREVIATIONS
RPK Revenue Passenger Kilometers. Calculated by multiplying the number of revenue passengers by the number of kilometres flown.
ASK Available Seat Kilometers. Calculated by multiplying the available seats by the number of kilometres flown.
LF Load Factor. The percentage of seats sold.

 

SOURCES
1
Contemporary notes/photographs by compiler Ron Cuskelly.
2
Qantas Brisbane AHAN Register.
3
Graham Syphers.
4
Qantas Movement Logs.
5
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/191098231/charles-albert-herman
6
Freebird Aviation Database.
7
John Balson.
8
Tony Arbon, AustAirData.
9
Ian Millard.
10
Tony Snel.
11
Report by Ken Sly, General Manager of NIA.
12
Roger McDonald, Specialist Historian on Australian airlines.
13
Photograph on this website.
14
Jenny Burrows, Senior Flight Attendant DHC8.

 

 

 

Issue
Date
Remarks
10
26MAY20
Added a reference regarding Countryair at 17OCT90.
9
03MAY20
Added a table of statistics.
8
01MAY20
Major update of the Chronology thanks to Roger McDonald.
7
22APR20 Added registration details for the following aircraft thanks to Tony Arbon:
Barons BAK, GMM, EZG & ILU.
Queen Airs BQA, BQL & MWH.
Beech 200 IBD.
Cessna 402 RUE.
Added details of a Dash 8 flight on 02MAR91 thanks to Jenny Burrows.
Major update incorporating details from this article by Roger McDonald.
6
20APR20
General update based on dates of aircraft photographs in the gallery.
5
17APR20
Added extensive coverage of the early years thanks to Tony Snel (Source: 10)
4
15APR20
Added details of Norfolk Pacific Aviation and Queensland Pacific Airlines thanks to Ian Millard (Source: 9)
3
13APR20
Added details of the last service on 01MAR91 thanks to John Balson.
2
07APR20
Design changes.
1
05APR20
Original issue.