SIGNING OF AIR SERVICES AGREEMENT WITH SWITZERLAND

  • Maurice Williamson
Transport

"I am pleased to announce New Zealand's signature of an Air Services Agreement with Switzerland", Transport Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

Mr Williamson signed the Agreement with Switzerland's Charg é d'affaires, Mr Walter Simmen.

"New Zealand welcomed nearly 300,000 visitors from Europe in the year ended July, an increase of 6% over the previous year. More than 11,000 Swiss visited in that time and Agreements such as that signed today provide the opportunity to market New Zealand on a wider scale", Mr Williamson said.

Air New Zealand has applied to provide services to Switzerland and Mr Williamson will make a decision on the application shortly.

The new Agreement provides for the airlines of each side to operate over any routing, with passenger capacity of three services per week and cargo capacity of two services per week. There are no limitations on the number of airlines of each side that may commence services. Liberal passenger fare and airline ownership provisions are also included. Code-sharing is permitted, including on the aircraft of third countries, but any code-share service would count against the agreed maximum total of three passenger services per week.

The only prohibitions on the picking up of passengers that are not travelling solely between New Zealand and Switzerland are at Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore. But as it is by code-sharing that New Zealand and Swiss airlines are likely to begin services, these restrictions should not be an inhibiting factor in the short term.

In Europe, New Zealand now has signed air services agreements with Belgium, France (providing New Zealand airlines with access to New Caledonia and French Polynesia), Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Russia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Agreements with Austria, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries of Denmark, Norway and Sweden have recently been negotiated and are expected to be signed in the near future.