Tauranga residents have more flight options available now as Kiwi Regional Airlines announce their latest flights from the city.

The airline have launched a new twice-weekly direct air connection for Bay of Plenty residents to Nelson, with the service also connecting on to Dunedin one day a week.

From February 15, Kiwi will fly fDunedin-Nelson-Tauranga and return on Tuesdays, on a 'same plane' service with a brief 25-minute stop in Nelson for passengers travelling between Dunedin and Tauranga, or vice-versa.

On Saturdays, Kiwi will operate a Nelson-Tauranga-Nelson return service around the middle of the day.


Tickets from Tauranga-Nelson direct will be priced very competitively, starting from $99 one-way, while Tauranga-Dunedin tickets will start at $169.

Bookings for the flights are open now.

Kiwi chief executive Ewan Wilson said "the airline's first month of operation has taught us a lot about regional New Zealand's travel preferences."

"There is a high proportion of our passengers visiting family and friends, and with the Bay of Plenty's population around the quarter million mark, there are a lot of family connections between this area and the South Island."

"The direct flights to Nelson make it much easier for both leisure and corporate travellers wanting to avoid lengthy and tiring stops in the expensive Wellington and Auckland airports."

Mr Wilson said his airline's executive "had considered other North Island connections such as Hawkes Bay and Taranaki, but a combination of lack of facilities and the high Bay of Plenty potential had tipped the balance Tauranga's way".

"We are also aware that other larger airlines have ignored the air travel needs of Bay of Plenty residents, either missing them entirely, or forcing them to travel through Auckland and Wellington to get anywhere."

"Our region to region Dunedin-Nelson-Hamilton flights have been successful right from the start, and we expect the Tauranga-Nelson-Dunedin connection to also be as successful."