Kiwi Regional Airlines has announced a new twice-weekly return connection for Tasman region residents to Tauranga and the Bay of Plenty region, with an additional Tuesday service to Dunedin to boost the current four return flights per week. From 15th February, Kiwi will fly on a Tuesday and Saturday mid morning to Tauranga, returning early afternoon.
At the same time an extra Tuesday connection with Dunedin will start, bringing to five the number of return flights per week with that city.
Tickets from Nelson-Tauranga will be priced competitively, starting from $99 one-way, as will tickets for the Nelson-Dunedin and existing Nelson-Hamilton services.
Bookings for the flights are open now.
Kiwi CEO Ewan Wilson said "the airline's first month of operation has taught us a lot about regional New Zealand's travel preferences."
"There is a high proportion of our passengers 'visiting family and friends' , and with the Bay of Plenty's population around the quarter million mark, there are a lot of family connections between Nelson and that region."
"Residents from Nelson and the surrounding region have proved to have a good appetite for affordable travel direct to other regions."
"Avoiding the expensive and tiring bottlenecks at Wellington airport have been a big factor in Nelsonian's decisions to travel with us," he said.
Mr Wilson said his airline's executive "had considered other North Island connections such as Hawkes Bay and Taranaki, but a combination of lack of facilities and the high Bay of Plenty potential had tipped the balance Tauranga's way."
"We will be looking elsewhere in future, but right now our hands are full with our successful Dunedin-Nelson-Hamilton flights, with the Tauranga connection only two months away."
Ewan Wilson CEO Kiwi Regional Airlines