Direct flights between Palmerston North and Nelson are back on Air New Zealand's schedule.
The twice-daily service will be trialled from July 12, with fares starting at $79 one way already on sale.
Re-introduction of the service, which last operated in 2008, was the result of negotiations between Palmerston North Airport and the airline.
The announcement comes just one day after airport company chairman Derek Walker told the airport's city council owners it would be working to attract more domestic passengers instead of chasing the return of international flights.
Air New Zealand's Chief Operations Officer Bruce Parton said the Nelson-Palmerston North link had been identified as an opportunity for growth on the network.
"We have worked with the team at Palmerston North airport to re-introduce this important regional link and help stimulate the local market," says Mr Parton.
There will be two return services a day at peak times designed to suit business as well as leisure travellers.
The 45-minute service will include one return service on Sundays.
The services will be operated by subsidiaries Eagle Airways and Air Nelson using Beech 1900D and Bombardier Q300 aircraft.
Palmerston North Airport chief executive Darin Cusack was looking forward to seeing the new service take off and hoped that it would become a permanent fixture in the schedule.
Manawatu chamber of commerce chief executive Stephanie Gundersen-Reid said the easier transfers between the two cities would be positive for the region and could open up new business opportunities.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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