The first passenger flight to cross the lower North Island in two decades has landed in Napier this afternoon after setting off from New Plymouth.
Originair is introducing a new service linking Nelson to Napier, via New Plymouth and Palmerston North.
Flights will from operate Fridays and Sundays, with tickets from Nelson to Napier costing $189, and seats from New Plymouth to Napier costing $79.
Originair managing director Robert Inglis said the airline was introducing the direct flights from New Plymouth to Napier after listening to business and leisure travellers.
"The service is aimed at both holiday and business travellers and promoted on the attraction of not having to make a lengthy transit via Auckland or Wellington," Mr Inglis said.
In September last year, Originair expanded its operation with flights to New Plymouth from Nelson.
Founded in 2015, the Nelson-based airline operates three British Aerospace Jetstream aircraft, which can carry up to 19 passengers.
New Plymouth Mayor Neil Holdom said the new service coincided with the building of a new terminal at the city's airport capable of handling the 475,000 people who use it each year.
"We're on a journey to create a fantastic new gateway to Taranaki and our district in New Plymouth with a new terminal that offers flights to the big centres as well as Nelson and Napier," Mr Holdom said.
"New Plymouth and Taranaki continue to attract tourists following the region being named in the top two in the world to visit by Lonely Planet and we welcome visitors from Hawkes Bay who want to find out why our place is so special."
Mr Holdom said the new service would also be a boon for Napier, enabling Taranaki residents to fly over for a weekend to enjoy the city and its Art Deco style and culture.
New Plymouth Airport is owned by the district council and and run by the council-controlled trading company Papa Rererangi I Puketapu.
It is among the top 10 busiest airports in the country and is now serviced by Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Originair.