Shane Jones has taken yet another swipe at Air New Zealand with the national carrier set to increase prices.
From Thursday, domestic fares will hike up 5 percent with the airline no longer able to absorb extra costs.
The Regional Economic Development Minister says the national carrier needs to step up its game.
"The most important thing is the quality of service. There [are] so many cancellations… it's almost as if they need a permanent bus service now," he said.
"It's an affront to the mahi that we're endearing to do I the provinces."
Mr Jones admits the company is facing "big challenges". Jet fuel prices are up by 54 percent compared to this time last year.
"But this is a company that obviously has big challenges," he said.
Mr Jones blasted the airline in March for cancelling some regional routes saying the airline had "turned their back on small-town provincial New Zealand".
When the company's board and chief executive objected to his comments and told him to back off, he then called for people to resign.