Cheaper airfares as competition grows

Plane Kiwi Regional Airlines has announced cheaper regional fares as Nelson skies grow steadily more crowded with competition.

Kiwi Regional announced their direct flights between regions will start from $79 from October 28 to the end of January with the exception of two weeks leading up to Christmas day. The fares are part of a 'celebration airfare special'.

Passengers on the Dunedin-Nelson, Nelson-Dunedin, Hamilton-Nelson and Nelson-Hamilton routes will be able to purchase the $79 flights on any day or time in the schedule. The price is generally much lower than Air New Zealand's current prices.

A standard fare on October 28 from Nelson to Dunedin on Air New Zealand (flying via Christchurch) is currently priced at $138. Kiwi Regional Airlines is offering the flight direct on the same date for $79.

Kiwi Regional chief executive Ewan Wilson said the cheaper fares were not to compete with Air New Zealand, rather, it was to celebrate the purchase and completion of painting its new aircraft.

"It is about celebrating a key milestone in our company's development," said Wilson.

The airline is also providing connecting flights between Nelson and Queenstown through Dunedin. These will be priced at $119 for the sale period.

"Even on the busy days of the week, or times of the day, if you are quick enough you will be able to get a seat for $79. And our other, more flexible fares, also represent a good deal for the region to region traveller," he said.

The cheaper fares come as additional airlines take to Nelson skies, including Originair who started flying between Nelson and Palmerston North this month.

Jetstar is also expected to announce if Nelson will be one of their regional destinations in September with flights commencing in December.