Aeropelican was founded by the late Keith Hilder, who believed that the people of Newcastle needed a better air service than the one being offered by a major domestic air carrier at that time, which consisted of one departure and one arrival each day and was operated from the RAAF base at Williamtown, north of Newcastle.
Aeropelican solved that problem. It operated its first scheduled flight in June 1971 with an eight-passenger Cessna 402 aircraft from its own airfield at Belmont, south of Newcastle.
In 1980 Aeropelican was sold to Cootamundra-based Masling Airlines, owned and operated by Jack Masling.
In August 1981, Aeropelican's ownership changed to BODAS Pty Ltd, a company jointly owned by TNT and News Limited. An association with Ansett commenced and the company was later a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ansett Australia.
In 2002, following the collapse of the Ansett Group, Aeropelican was sold to International Air Parts Pty Ltd.
In 2004, Aeropelican commenced operating the Newcastle (Williamtown) to Sydney route after other operators exited or decreased services on the route and over the next three years introduced British Aerospace Jetstream 32 aircraft to its fleet, replacing the Twin Otter aircraft that were used on the Belmont service for many years.
Following a decision by its owners to concentrate on their core business interests, Aeropelican was acquired by Business Air Holdings in 2008. Business Air Holdings is an airline investment group with a particular interest in regional airline services.
Aeropelican Air Services has a commitment to provide our customers with a safe and efficient air service.
- Our service will emphasise safety as its highest priority
- We will endeavour to provide our customers with a cost effective service within geographical areas and market segments that can benefit from our services and will ensure a return on investment and growth rate consistent with current management guidelines
- We will strive to operate our flights on schedule
- We will strive to provide a friendly and courteous service to our customers