The inaugural flight was slightly delayed leaving New Plymouth to allow time to cut cake, but was welcomed by a powhiri when it touched down in Napier.

Last minute changes meant Originair had to call on Air Chathams to provide a plane for the trip, although Originair's own aircraft will fly the route from next weekend.

In Napier, Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said the new route was absolutely fantastic.

"In the regions we can be isolated from each other, it's great to be head over for the weekend to see a rugby match or concert."

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Napier City mayor Bill Dalton said it's great to have the ability to get across the North Island frequently and economically.

Originair's Holly Parata with a British Aerospace Jetstream aircraft. Photo / Supplied
Originair's Holly Parata with a British Aerospace Jetstream aircraft. Photo / Supplied

The company deploys three British Aerospace Jetstream aircrafts, which can hold up to 19 passengers, and plans to operate return flights on Fridays and Sundays.

Adding Napier to the list of Originair destinations comes a year after the company began a direct flight between New Plymouth and Nelson.

New Plymouth mayor Neil Holdom was on-board the inaugural flight, and said the connection created significant tourism opportunities.

"A lot of Taranaki residents head over to the east coast for holidays, but it's a 4-1/2 hour drive, now made easier by a 60 minute flight" he said.

"It's great for New Plymouth, it's great for Napier, Hastings, Havelock North but now it's up to people to take the trips and spent the time because the regions are so much closer."

Holdom said it was great to see Originair's confidence in Hawke's Bay and Taranaki.

The additional service comes as a new terminal is being built at New Plymouth Airport, which will be better suited to handling the 475,000 passengers who use the airport each year.

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It's expected the redevelopment will be completed by 2020.