Airlines expand flights out of Nelson

Passengers disembark the first flight Jetstar landing from Wellington into Nelson Airport.
As one regional airline expands out of Nelson to Wellington another has announced a partnership which will allow it to fly to Auckland.

Jetstar had its first flight to Wellington yesterday, expanding the network of flights out of Nelson.

Chief executive of Nelson Airport Rob Evans said it was "fantastic for Nelsonians" that Jetstar was extending its service.

"Wellington is one of the key routes for Nelsonians doing business. There are many business commuters who fly there every week already, and we anticipate people will look for additional business opportunities in the capital now that there is more capacity available on this route."

Wellington was also the closest city destination to fly to from Nelson, he said, so having more flights was "great for everyone wanting a trip away to 'the coolest little capital in the world'."

Evans said Wellington Airport and its tourism body should also be congratulated for its strategies to increase tourism which had huge "flow on" potential for us.

"For example, Singapore Airlines' new service between Wellington and Canberra, which will cut flight times to Asia significantly, promises to be a boon for Nelson's tourism sector, especially now that there are more flights between Wellington and Nelson to link with international destinations."

Kiwi Regional Air also announced yesterday that it would partner with Barrier Air, which flies routes to Auckland, Kaitaia, North Shore and Great Barrier Island.

KRA passengers, flying routes between Nelson, Dunedin and Hamilton will be able to connect in Hamilton with Barrier Air flights to Auckland, and on to Great Barrier Island, North Shore or Kaitaia about midday on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, starting February 15.

Passengers booking on Kiwi flights to Hamilton will be able to "add on" a connecting Barrier Air flight to one of these destinations at a concessionary rate and Barrier Air passengers will be able to land in Hamilton, and transfer to a connecting KRA flight to Nelson and Dunedin.

In a joint statement from the airlines, KRA chief executive Ewan Wilson and Barrier chief executive Mike Foster said they were "very pleased to be able to help ordinary Kiwis living in regional areas to fly from north to south, and vice versa, on fully regional services."

Foster said the NZ Civil Aviation Authority was in the process of certifying his airline's new route between Auckland and Hamilton, following a proving flight last week.

"We want Hamilton passengers to be able to continue flying to Auckland when Air New Zealand stops that service on 7th February, and we want to give all regional passengers more choice and better access to our services in the north."

Each airline's reservations staff will be able to act as agents for the other airline's flights, with tickets for the new connections due to go on sale next week.

Both company heads explained that this agreement was not a codeshare service, but an agreement to sell each other seats with each issuing separate tickets for a coordinated schedule.

 - Stuff

Last updated 12:56, February 2 2016