Kiwijet aims for $85.6m in 45 days

Proposed new airline Kiwijet says it expects to raise the US$65 million ($85.6 million) needed to launch a low-cost domestic service in about 45 days.

However, United States Kiwijet founder Patrick Weil said many details were yet to be finalised ahead of its planned launch late next year.

"It is premature for us to have discussions with Government and airport authorities until we have completed the capitalisation process and key staff placements within the company," Weil said in a statement.

"At the same time, we are keeping a keen eye on the rapidly changing economic landscape and currency markets as it relates to the US dollar and other currencies in the region. We feel that these market fluctuations should not affect or compromise our intended target funding of US$65 million."

The airline planned to operate seven Embraer jets on regional routes between nine cities, out of a base at Christchurch Airport.

Kiwijet planned to serve centres that had demonstrated strong sector growth and would support the company's business model.

The company decided not to connect to Rotorua and Queenstown to avoid competing with Qantas Jetconnect or Jetstar. A planned service between Christchurch and Auckland was for repositioning aircraft, meaning a limited number of seats would be available on the route.

Kiwijet is beginning to interview candidates for management jobs.

- NZPA

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