Green light for new and improved air services agreements

  • Nathan Guy

New Zealand is looking to negotiate new and improved air services agreements with countries in East Asia and South America, Associate Transport Minister Nathan Guy announced today.

"This is an important step in encouraging stronger tourism and business ties with two of the fastest growing regions in the world," Mr Guy says.

"Inter-government air service agreements are the first step before airlines can operate services to other countries. New Zealand already has around 48 relationships governed by similar agreements, and we want to see these improved and the number increased.

"This will enable better trade links and higher passenger numbers, which will be good for jobs and economic growth.

“Cabinet has given officials the mandate to start negotiations with China and Brazil, and up to eight additional countries.

"We are looking to remove restrictions on current agreements, and begin negotiations with other countries to create new agreements.

“These agreements will give airlines greater freedom and certainty for future planning.

“In particular, Auckland has the potential to play a greater role as a stopover between these two regions. Already Cathay Pacific from Hong Kong and LAN from Chile are taking advantage of the opportunities available to code share, swapping passengers travelling between South America and East Asia in Auckland.”

The Minister also announced that New Zealand’s air services arrangements with the Netherlands have been enhanced, removing restrictions on code sharing.

“This will enable KLM Royal Dutch Airlines to code share, for example, on the new China Southern operations between Guangzhou and Auckland,” says Mr Guy.