12 Aug 2015

Kiwi Regional Airlines eyes October take-off

3:53 pm on 12 August 2015

Hamilton-based Kiwi Regional Airlines plans to start flying at the end of October, subject to regulatory approval.

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Photo: 123RF

Chief executive Ewan Wilson announced this afternoon the opening of its online and telephone reservations system.

He said the airline planned to start scheduled flights between Dunedin, Queenstown, Nelson and Hamilton from October 27, but the operation was still subject to regulatory approval.

Its 34-seat Saab aircraft was due to arrive in New Zealand from Europe next month.

Mr Wilson said fares would be "completely transparent" with no unexpected add-ons.

"There will be no taxes, credit card charges or other unwanted fees added automatically as you move through the online booking system, unless you choose to add extra items."

He said the airline would keep its available fares at the advertised price, and would not be increasing them as customers got closer to flight dates.

Mr Wilson also promised a more "family-friendly" airfares policy, with discounted travel for passengers up to the age of 16.

The online reservations system would operate around the clock, seven days a week, and will be backed up by a telephone reservations crew based in Kiwi's Hamilton headquarters, with toll-free calling for enquiries and bookings in the Dunedin, Queenstown and Nelson free-calling areas, Mr Wilson said.

Nelson-based Originair began its new regional service between Palmerston North and Nelson this morning, with flights from Nelson to Wellington due to start next month.

The introduction of Kiwi Regional will bring to five the number of airlines offering scheduled services in and out of Nelson, including Air New Zealand, SoundsAir, Air2There, Originair and Kiwi Regional Airlines.

Jetstar is yet to announce plans to introduce services to regional New Zealand.

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