Air Chathams (3C, Chatham Island) is studying various options for the replacement of its five remaining CV-580s with an option to either replace them with Avions de Transport Régional (Toulouse Blagnac) turboprops or to add narrowbody aircraft, General Manager Duane Emeny told Aviation Daily.

On January 24, the regional specialist took delivery of its first ATR72-500, initially on a dry-lease from Mount Cook Airline (NZM, Christchurch), itself a subsidiary of Air New Zealand. The ownership of the aircraft is due to transfer to Air Chathams in May 2019. Mount Cook Airlines continues to operate seven ATR72-500s and has been looking at selling the aircraft as they are replaced with -600s.

Air Chathams is most likely the world's last commercial operator of a passenger CV-580. KF Cargo (FK, Kelowna) operates the same type in a full-freighter configuration.

As an alternative, Air Chathams is also evaluating adding a Boeing B737 aircraft.

For the time being, the carrier is refurbishing the cabin interiors of its three Saab 340s (two Saab 340A(QC)s and one Saab 340B). Two have already been refurbished with the third one slated to undergo this process by the end of April 2019.

Besides five CV-580s, one ATR72-500, and three Saab 340s, Air Chathams also operates one DC-3, four Metroliners, one Aero Commander 690A, and one Cessna 206.