Tauranga has welcomed its newest airline partner with a completely full load on its first-ever flight out of the coastal city tomorrow, bound for Nelson.

Kiwi Regional Airlines chief executive Ewan Wilson said sales of seats on the twice-weekly flights to Nelson and on to Dunedin had been "excellent".

"Tauranga is performing well for us against all our other routes, which is fantastic, given we have yet to fly in or out of the city.

"Our experience highlights the need for affordable, direct, inter-regional air services in New Zealand, and vindicates our decision to add the Bay of Plenty as one of our key regions," he said.


Mr Wilson said Kiwi's SAAB340A aircraft was scheduled to arrive in from Nelson at 11.15am, departing 50 minutes later at 12.05pm.

He welcomed members of the public coming to Tauranga Airport to view the aircraft from the terminal.

Flights to Nelson with Kiwi depart at 12.05pm every Tuesday and Saturday, flying on to Dunedin on Tuesdays. On both Tuesdays and Saturdays, the aircraft flies up from Dunedin and Nelson to Tauranga.