Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Customs Australia Dash 8-200 VH-ZZI and VH-ZZP fly to and from Noumea, New Caledonia

There has certainly been a number of interesting movements by Surveillance / Customs Australia de Havilland Dash 8-200 aircraft recently with VH-ZZI and VH-ZZP both operating to and from La Tontouta International Airport, Noumea, New Caledonia.
On Saturday, June 20 - VH-ZZI departed Bundaberg for an approximate 4 hour flight to La Tontouta Intl. However, at the time of writing, FlightAware listed no further activity.
On Sunday, June 21 - Flightaware indicated VH-ZZP departed Cairns for La Tontouta Intl, a flight that also took approximately 4 hours. 
But ... on Monday, June 22 and Tuesday, June 23 - it appears VH-ZZP was active with movements originating from and ending back at La Tontouta Intl, surveillance / SAR flights perhaps !   
On Wednesday, June 24 - VH-ZZP departed Noumea for the return trip back to Cairns however was routed via Bundaberg, presumably to take onboard fuel.
The following day, VH-ZZI followed suit and operated Noumea - Bundaberg however did not proceed north to Cairns but instead remained overnight at the rum city.
Question ... did VH-ZZI become unserviceable while in Noumea and replaced by VH-ZZP ? 
After arriving back on Australian shores, local planespotter Micah S was on the scene at Bundaberg Airport to capture the Dash 8's and has kindly allowed Air Queensland.blogspot to share the following photo's.