New player Kiwi Regional Airlines (KRA) has announced plans for regular six-day a week flights between Tauranga and Palmerston North, connecting to Nelson.

Flights will commence towards the end of 2015 or at the start of 2016, with a mid-morning flight arriving from Palmerston North, before returning after a short stop.

Passengers will be flown by SAAB 340 34-seater aircraft - a twinengine, twin-pilot, pressurised aircraft.

The return flight through Palmerston North will allow Nelson-bound passengers to travel on a single ticket, connecting in Nelson with a second KRA flight bound for Queenstown.


KRA Chief Executive, Ewan Wilson, said he was "thrilled to be able to offer Bay of Plenty travellers important direct routes that have either not been flown for some time, or are being exited by the national carrier.

"Our name says a lot - 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.

"As well as improved opportunities for travellers, we hope our operation in the Tauranga area will engance employment and tourism opportunities," said Mr Wilson.

These routes are part of a network operated initially by two aircraft, and later by three. KRA's corporate headquarters will be in Hamilton, where Mr Wilson is based.