New airline flying to Nelson first


The country’s newest airline, Kiwi Regional Airlines, will start flying out of Nelson as early as September when it will offer seven-day a week flights between Nelson and Queenstown, Palmerston North, Hamilton, Auckland and Tauranga.

The Hamilton-based Kiwi Regional Airlines an- nounced its proposed routes this week and Nelson was first in line for the new flights. The airline will fly two, twin-engine Saab 340A planes that carry 34 passengers on two routes out of Nelson, starting sometime from September to February.

“We can’t give an exact date at this stage because we have to apply for Civil Aviation authority which is required for all airlines,” the airline’s route network development manager, Dave Macpherson, says. “We still have to employ peo- ple and produce our operational manuals and they all have to be vetted by Civil Aviation and that can take up to three to five months.”

Dave says one of the planes will fly from Dunedin to Queenstown, Nelson, Hamilton and Auckland and return via the same route once a day while the other will fly from Nelson to Palmerston North return three times a day with one on-going connection to Tauranga.

The flights will include full In-flight service provided by a flight attendant with refreshments and snacks offered to all passengers.
The airline’s chief executive, Ewan Wilson, says they are focusing on “important direct routes that have either not been flown before, or are being exited by the national carrier”.

“Regional New Zealand has been left off the air route map unless you want to travel to the three largest centres. Our plan is to complement existing offerings – to fill the gaps and to make travel between regional centres as fast, comfortable and affordable as possible,” Ewan says.

Dave says they are not planning to compete with Air New Zealand although their pricing structure “will be more than competitive with Air New Zealand’s standard fares”. The airline also plans to offer discounts for multi-fare tickets aimed at the tourism and corporate sectors. The airline plans to purchase a third aircraft as soon as the initial routes are operational.