Initiative With Canada to Boost Inbound Tourism

  • Maurice Williamson

New Zealand and Canadian airlines are now able to offer travellers between Canada and New Zealand a greater variety of service options, Minister of Transport, Hon Maurice Williamson, announced today.

Air services negotiations last month between New Zealand and Canada resulted in agreement on a package of measures including significantly enhanced code-sharing opportunities for New Zealand and Canadian airlines, and an increase in the capacity which those airlines may operate with their own aircraft.

The new opportunities are available with immediate effect.

"The development of inbound tourism from Canada to New Zealand is set to benefit by the package of enhancements agreed between our two countries," the Minister said.

The arrangements concluded last month with Canada open the way for the airlines of each country to provide services between the two countries through code-sharing with any partner airline of their choice. There is no restriction on the number of services which airlines may provide through code-sharing arrangements.

The arrangements enables the airlines to market travel packages including stop-overs at points in the South Pacific, Hawaii and Los Angeles. Opportunities are also included for New Zealand airlines to market in Canada, and for Canadian airlines to market in New Zealand, packages for travel to the South Pacific Islands.

"The ability to combine travel to New Zealand with a South Pacific island stop-over is an important factor in attracting additional Canadian visitors to our part of the world," the Minister said.

"These code-sharing opportunities open the way for Air New Zealand to further develop its relationship with Air Canada to provide convenient, efficient services between eastern Canada and New Zealand, and to increase Canadian visitor numbers to the South Pacific.

"Similarly, Canadian Airlines International is now able to expand its relationships with Qantas and Air Pacific to offer travellers a greater variety of service options", Mr Williamson said.

In addition, the airlines of the two countries are now able to double the number of services they operate with their own aircraft between the two countries, up from two services per week to four.

Canadian Airlines International currently operates twice a week between Vancouver and Auckland via Honolulu. Air New Zealand also operates twice a week over the same route, with the Honolulu-Vancouver return sectors operated by Air Canada in a lease arrangement on behalf of the New Zealand carrier.

Further negotiations are expected next year to discuss options for creating even greater operational flexibility for New Zealand and Canadian airlines.

"Canada is New Zealand's twelfth largest trading partner, and has traditionally been an important source of foreign investment in this country. Our two countries have a close and friendly relationship, based on a shared Commonwealth heritage, and advance a common approach to regional initiatives such as APEC," Mr Williamson said.