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Origin Pacific Airways was an airline based in Nelsonmarker in New Zealandmarker operating freight services. Until 10 August 2006, the airline also operated scheduled and charter passenger services. Its main base was at Nelson Airport (NSN). It ceased all operations on 15 September 2006

Code data

  • IATA Code: QO
  • ICAOmarker Code: OGN
  • Callsign: Origin


Origin Pacific Airways was established in 1996 and started operations in April 1997. The airline was owned by Robert Inglis (managing director) and Nicki Smith (50%), Mike Pero (25%) and a group of Wellingtonmarker investors (25%). The airline ceased passenger operations on 10 August 2006. It then ceased all operations effective 14 September 2006. The airline experienced financial problems due to large inherited debts. Its closure of passenger services was mainly due to airports and Inland Revenue demanding money; in fact, Origin's passenger numbers were up more than usual when the company closed its doors. Origin Pacific was unable to find investors to inject additional capital. The main competition Air New Zealand were helped by a New Zealand government financial bail out in 2002, which still allowed them to compete with Origin, which according to Origin management was a major factor contributing to their financial problems. Air New Zealand was not the only problem, the fact that Origin lost the codeshare with Qantas was a major blow. It resulted in the scaling back of jobs and aircraft.

It was practicably impossible for Origin Pacific to survive in the domestic market where it competed with a company like Air New Zealand, which feeds its planes passengers from its international network on top of domestic travellers. With the loss of Qantas' international network to fill Origin's planes, Origin had to rely solely on the domestic market, of which Air New Zealand held the majority.

The story of Origin Pacific is well documented in a book called Down To Earth - The Story of Origin Pacific Airways by Aaron Winstanley.


Origin Pacific operated freight services in New Zealand. Until August 2006 the airline also operated domestic passenger services. On 14 September 2006, Origin announced it was to wind up the company as it had failed to secure a buyer for its freight company.

Prior to the suspension of domestic passenger services, the airline (as at January 2005) operated the services to the following scheduled destinations:Christchurchmarker, Dunedinmarker, Hamiltonmarker, Aucklandmarker, Blenheimmarker, Napier-Hastingsmarker, Nelson, New Plymouthmarker, Palmerston Northmarker and Wellington.Dunedin flights were discontinued from 12 January 2005.

Origin also operated code-share flights on behalf of Qantas JetConnect from mid 2001, but these were stopped by early 2004. As a result, the airline lost around 60% of its business and had struggled since.Routes served on behalf of Qantas included Rotorua and Queenstown, Origin operated ATR-72-212 and Dash 8-100 and 300 aircraft on those routes.Until recently those routes had been served by Qantas (Jetconnect) with Boeing 737 aircraft itself, however Qantas (Jetconnect) nolonger operates domestic services in New Zealand.

During its operation, other destinations included Taupo, Wanganui, Tauranga, Queenstown (On behalf of Qantas), Rotorua & Invercargill.


During its operation Origin Pacific operated the following aircraft:

  • 4 BAe Jetstream 31 (ZK-JSA/JSH/JSI/OSW)
  • 3 BAe Jetstream 32 (ZK-JSQ/JSR/JSU)
  • 5 BAe Jetstream 41 (ZK-JSE/JSK/JSM/JSN/JSO)
  • 1 Cessna 421 (ZK-DCN)
  • 2 ATR-72-212 (ZK-JSY/JSZ)
  • 3 DHC-8-100 (ZK-NES/NET/NEU)
  • 2 DHC-8-300 (ZK-NEQ/NER)
  • 1 Fairchild-Swearingen Metroliner III (ZK-CIC/NSS)
  • 3 Fairchild-Swearingen Metroliner 23 (ZK-JSJ/JSV/POF)

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