OSHKOSH — The Oshkosh Express will make a return to Oshkosh in 2013, when a Boeing 777 will deliver over 340 aviation enthusiasts from Australia and New Zealand to AirVenture.
The Air New Zealand “All Black” 777 will make the 13,000 kilometre journey with a planned stopover to allow the charter group to visit the Mojave spaceport en route to Oshkosh, officials said. The charter flight will then land at Wittman Regional Airport.
The original 747 Oshkosh Express was organized over 30 years ago by Avtours Australia, who have now teamed up with House of Travel in New Zealand to relaunch the charter flight. Bob Phillips and Dave Thomas of Avtours pioneered the Oshkosh Express, and now Bob’s daughter Karene is continuing the Avtours tradition.
“It is so exciting to bring back the Oshkosh Express, especially with such an innovative and advanced aircraft,” says Karene Phillips.
The Air New Zealand 777 features an interior with lie-flat beds in economy/coach class and new style premium economy and business class seat layouts, as well as a touch screen digital entertainment system. The aircraft is believed to be the world’s only Boeing 777 painted in black.
“Oshkosh is the mecca of the aviation world – and it is a real bonus to be able to stop off and look at the space travel development work at Mojave,” says Stephen Parsons of House of Travel, who also markets Virgin Galactic space flights in New Zealand.
Registration for the Oshkosh Express was launched at this year’s Oshkosh, allowing charter passengers to register for early discounts in business, premium economy and economy classes, officials said.