Tauranga's newest airline partner, Kiwi Air, has announced that it will be adding extra services to its network, including flying to Christchurch twice weekly.

Kiwi Regional Airlines first flights from Tauranga Airport to Nelson and onto Dunedin started on February 16.

Kiwi Regional Airlines chief executive Ewan Wilson said the services have proved highly popular, and ticket sales on the airlines existing twice-weekly flights to Nelson and onto Dunedin had been excellent

Tauranga had been performing "very well" against all our other routes, and was a key part of the airline's newest expansion plans, he said.


Mr Wilson said as well as the Christchurch flights the company will add an extra Tauranga to Nelson to Dunedin flight each week.

Earlier today, Mr Wilson revealed the Kiwi Air's expansion plans to the Bay of Plenty Times.

Mr Wilson said Kiwi Air, which operates the 34-seater Saab 340, will fly from Tauranga to Christchurch twice weekly from May 14, and Tauranga to Nelson and Dunedin three times a week from May 19.

In addition to its current Tuesday service the airline would now continue its Saturday service to Nelson onto Christchurch and Dunedin.

The airline would also operate a Thursday flight to Nelson with the same plane continuing onto Christchurch and Dunedin, he said.

Mr Wilson said: "We're really excited. From Kiwi's perspective we wanted our airline to be clocking up 1800 hours of flying time a year, so these new services brings up to our optimum level.

"However, we're very mindful of the increasing demand for regional services. We expect to be making an announcement about a second aircraft over the next week or so," he said.