01 March 2016

Kiwi Regional Adds Christchurch and Goes to 7 Days a Week Schedule

Kiwi Regional Airlines is adding an extra two flights a week from Dunedin to Nelson and return with stopovers in Christchurch, in a move chief executive Ewan Wilson says should push the business into profitability. The extra flights mean a seven-day-a-week service to Nelson, with passengers able to travel in the same plane to Hamilton or Tauranga on certain days. Mr Wilson said he expected it would be the last route expansion for the airline for the time being, with any future growth coming from an extra plane that would be used for the "lucrative charter market''. Kiwi Regional Airlines (KRA) first took flight in October last year, and announced yesterday it would be flying Dunedin to Nelson daily from May 14, instead of five days a week. On Thursdays and Sundays, the company's twin turbo-prop Saab 340A would fly to Nelson via Christchurch, while on all other days it would continue to fly direct to Nelson. Returning from Nelson, Thursday and Saturday flights to Dunedin would be via Christchurch. Mr Wilson said that would mean passengers starting their journey in Dunedin could fly on the same plane to Hamilton four days a week, and to Tauranga three days a week. He said in the last six months, KRA had sold "well over 10,000 seats''. The company's profitability was driven by its aircraft's use, or "how many hours we fly a year''. It had gradually added flights, as it approached the 1800 hours a year it needed. "This final expansion is where we need to be to be profitable.'' The Dunedin to Nelson route, the longest route in the network, was not profitable as yet, "but we believe by adding Christchurch twice a week that it will become sustainable''. "We need that daily frequency to help grow the business. "A lot of our feedback shows that organic growth will happen when you offer a daily service. "If our current trends continue, our model shows we will break even after May 14.'' Mr Wilson said he wanted to be clear the airline was not trying to "take Air New Zealand on''. "We're simply targeting the leisure market.'' He also said no further route expansion was planned, instead he was keen to buy a second plane to try to develop the charter market.


  1. So DUD/CHC CHC/NSN and vv....

    So much for not going head to head with AirNZ routes! LOL

  2. Yea um the only question I have is why?
    What benefit could they possibly see in doing this. This totally defeats the purpose of their region to region services. "KRA introduces region to region services - although some days we've just decided to make you go via CHC when you could do that cheaper on Air NZ"