Kiwi Regional Airlines, Barrier Air to link services via Hamilton

A new airline alliance will give passengers departing Dunedin airport easier access to remote areas including Great Barrier Island.

Kiwi Regional Airlines flies between Dunedin, Hamilton and Nelson.

Barrier Air flies between Auckland, Great Barrier Island, Kaitaia and North Shore and from Monday will fly to Hamilton on a daily basis.

A week later, Kiwi Airlines passengers flying to Hamilton will be able to connect to a Barrier Air flight to Auckland to connect to flights to Great Barrier Island, North Shore or Kaitaia.

The three flights north of Auckland depart about noon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Kiwi chief executive Ewan Wilson said the alliance was a "wonderful opportunity'' to allow passengers to travel to destinations which had been difficult to access in the past.

"We are really excited.''

A flight from Dunedin to Great Barrier Island would cost from $286 one way, he said.

The cost included a stopover in one of the connecting cities.

On the journey, passengers would need to check in their bags only once, he said.

Barrier Air passengers flying to Hamilton would be able to connect to a Kiwi Regional Airlines flight to Dunedin and Nelson.

The flights meant people living north of Auckland and wanting to travel south could stop "fighting traffic'' by avoiding Auckland airport.

The new connections were due to go on sale next week and would be available from both airlines.

On Tuesdays from February 16, passengers could fly with Kiwi Regional Airlines between Dunedin and Nelson.

The new flight would increase the weekly flights between the cities to five.

On the same day, passengers could connect for the first time with a Kiwi flight from Nelson to Tauranga.

The new flight had been "selling unbelievably well'' in Tauranga, Mr Wilson said.

● Jetstar began flying three new regional routes yesterday.

The airline is now flying between Nelson and Wellington, Palmerston North and Auckland, and New Plymouth and Auckland.

This is the second regional route launched by Jetstar for Wellington in the past six months, with a Dunedin-Wellington service starting last October.

The Wellington-Nelson service will operate 21 return flights a week.

The Palmerston North service will have four return flights a day.

- Additional reporting NZME.

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