The airline was established and started operations in 1920 as New Zealand Aero Transport Company, at Timaru by Rodolph Lysaght Wigley. In 1954, NZ Aero Transport Company was reformed as Mount Cook Air Services Ltd, specialising in scenic flights, agricultural work and rescue missions. Scheduled services for Mount Cook Airline began on 6 November 1961 between Christchurch, Mount Cook, Queenstown and Te Anau with a 26-seater Douglas DC-3. Mount Cook Airline was one of New Zealand"s tourism pioneers opening up the "tourist trail" of Rotorua through to Christchurch, Mount Cook and Queenstown. Air New Zealand purchased part of the Mount Cook Group in the 1980s after Sir Henry"s death, increased to 30% on 5 December 1983, then another 47% (increased to 77%) in October 1985 after gaining approval on 18 July that year; and the remainder on 18 April 1991.
About the airline
Mount Cook Airline is an airline based in Christchurch, New Zealand. It is wholly owned by Air New Zealand and operates scheduled services throughout the country under the Air New Zealand Link brand all aircraft are in Air New Zealand livery. Its main base is Christchurch International Airport.
Mount Cook Airline serves the following routes in New Zealand: Auckland (Napier, Palmerston North), Christchurch (Dunedin, Hamilton, Invercargill, Mount Cook, Palmerston North, Rotorua, Queenstown, Wellington), Wellington (Hamilton, Queenstown, Invercargill, Dunedin, Christchurch) and Hamilton (Palmerston North).
A versatile aircraft, the ATR 72-500 is used to operate from main cities to larger provincial towns during peak times and operate on main trunk routes off peak times.
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