End of the line for Marlborough 'mail plane'

A Fokker F27 aircraft will no longer be used by New Zealand Post to deliver mail to and from Blenheim from mid-March.
Martin de Ruyter

A Fokker F27 aircraft will no longer be used by New Zealand Post to deliver mail to and from Blenheim from mid-March.

Three freight handler jobs have been affected by a New Zealand Post shakeup that will mean mail and courier parcels are no longer transported to Blenheim by plane. 

From mid-March, mail and courier parcels previously delivered by a Fokker 27 to Blenheim will be flown to Christchurch before being driven north to Marlborough. 

New Zealand Post Blenheim area manager Grant Sinclair said three freight handler jobs were affected by the move.

One person chose to take voluntary redundancy, while two people took new roles within New Zealand Post in Blenheim.

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There would be little or no impact on mail delivery targets from the changes, Sinclair said. 

There would be changes to the clearance times on some public post boxes to make sure that mail got to transport trucks on time. 

Stickers had been placed on those boxes advising customers about the changes, Sinclair said. 

New Zealand Post had delivered mail using Fokker 27 Friendship planes in Marlborough for the past 25 years, Sinclair said. 

A Fokker 27 based in Blenheim flew to Wellington, Auckland and Palmerston North, departing Blenheim at 9.15pm and returning at 3am. 

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Sinclair said New Zealand Post's national fleet of two Fokker 27 planes would be put up for sale.

They would be advertised in a range of international aviation publications, Sinclair said. 

He would not disclose what price New Zealand Post expected to get for the planes. 

In June last year New Zealand Post announced that the company would be replacing its aircraft fleet. 

A Boeing 737-300 and two Fokker 27 Friendship planes would be replaced by three Boeing 737-400 freight aircraft. 

New Zealand Post chief executive Brian Roche said the new aircraft were faster and would be able to carry a greater volume of mail, which was important for the company because of the growing market in express parcels and packets. 

"With more people shopping online than ever before, the demand for overnight parcel delivery has grown, and this will continue."

The aircraft would fly in and out of Auckland, Palmerston North and Christchurch, to link up with New Zealand Post's processing and delivery network in those centres. 

 - The Marlborough Express


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