Texel Air launches freight service in New Zealand

A new airline has launched in New Zealand to increase the country's air freight capacity.

New Zealand-owned charter cargo airline Texel Air began operations in the small Middle-Eastern nation of Bahrain, but has expanded to New Zealand to address what it saw as a gap in the market.

Texel Air works with companies in the freight and airline industries, and governments, rather than selling directly to customers.

The airline said it was launching with New Zealand Post and Parceline Express (owned by Freightways) as its foundation customers.

Texel Air is starting its New Zealand operations with one Boeing 737-800 converted freighter aircraft, servicing domestic cargo needs.

By the end of the year, Texel Air planned to have two additional aircraft, with plans to have 10 aircraft operating in Australasia by 2026, to service New Zealand and Australian, domestic and trans-Tasman needs.

Texel Air founder and chair John Chisholm said the service would boost the country's air cargo capacity.

"We are making significant investment in aircraft and technology to enhance connectivity, speed, and efficiency so exporters and importers can rely on our air cargo operations," he said.

"The pandemic and recent weather events put New Zealand's supply chain resilience to the test and highlighted the need for additional air freight capacity."

Texel Air would initially fly domestic, but planned to serve New Zealand's offshore freight needs by the end of the year.

"Texel Air is the result of my life's work in the airline, cargo and logistics industries in the Middle East," Chisholm said.

"I had previously founded several airlines, including Texel Air Bahrain, and the opportunity to now launch an airline in my home country makes me extremely proud."