Kiwi Airlines to crowdfund $2m for new plane

By Aimee Shaw

Kiwi Airlines' Saab 340A.
Kiwi Airlines' Saab 340A.

Kiwi Regional Airlines has announced its plans to raise up to $2 million to buy a second aircraft.

The airline is proposing equity crowdfunding as a fundraising option, but says it has had interest from independent investors too.

The $2 million will be used to buy a new Saab 340 QC to be used for passenger and freight charters.

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Kiwi Regional chief executive Ewan Wilson said the campaign will enable potential pledgers to become shareholders in the company and will mean the airline will have a backup plane.

"We are keen to have backup for both planned and unplanned aircraft maintenance."

He said it is great that small to medium companies have the option to raise funds publicly.

"New Zealand has really led the way with legislation changes and enabling approved companies to raise up to $2 million through crowdfunding and turn it into shares."

The Financial Markets Authority currently has eight approved equity crowdfunding platforms.

Wilson said the crowdfunding platform is yet to be decided on, and at this stage, said it remains as an option.

"Two million dollars in an aviation context is really not a lot," he said. "What is really special is that thousands of potential New Zealand investors will be able to be roving ambassadors for the airline."

Last week that the company announced plans to add more flights to its Tauranga network.

What this would mean for Ma and Pa investors is that they will have the opportunity to be involved in a small regional airline.

Wilson said having another aircraft will not be used to expand capacity on its flights. He said the planned purchase of the new plane will be used solely as a back up for its current Saab 340A and to expand the freight market.

"What this would mean for Ma and Pa investors is that they will have the opportunity to be involved in a small regional airline."

Kiwi Regional Airlines launched last year and is a scheduled freight and passenger charter that flies between Dunedin to Nelson, Nelson to Hamilton and Nelson to Tauranga. From May 14 the airline will fly via Christchurch.

- NZ Herald

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