Competitive flights to Kerikeri

Bay of Islands locals are cheering more competition in the skies, with Barrier Air set to take on Air New Zealand.

The Barrier Air flights will start from August 4, with 22 trips planned each week between Kerikeri and Auckland.

The airline is best known in Northland for flying between Kaitāia and Auckland, after Air NZ stopped its northernmost service in 2015.

Chief executive Grant Bacon said the Kaitāia service is strengthening, including recent success with extra flights on Friday and Sunday nights, to allow a weekend getaway.

“We have a great result with Kaitāia. We figure that with our reputation in the Far North, Kerikeri is the next step.”

The move comes just after Air NZ increased the prices of its domestic routes and domestic airfares were ranked New Zealand’s least competitive market.

Prices for Barrier Air’s flights will be announced shortly, and Bacon said there will be price certainty and flexibility without penalty.

The small airline cancelled just four Kaitāia flights last year, about 0.3 per cent, all due to weather. It has bought a new, $5 million 14-seat Cessna Grand Caravan EX for the Bay of Islands journeys, Bacon said.

WHOOP WHOOP say the locals!

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