air travel

New arrangements connect New Zealand direct by air to more countries around the globe

by Ray Clancy on March 21, 2017

New Zealand is one of the most popular countries in the world for people who want to visit and emigrate and now it is to be even more connected with the rest of the globe.

Transport Minister Simon Bridges has announced that a number of new air services agreements will further enhance New Zealand’s international air connectivity.

The New Zealand Government has recently approved the signing of four new air services agreements with Kenya, Botswana, the Dominican Republic and Guyana. Agreements have also been expanded or enhanced with a number of other countries including Italy, Spain, Belize and Nicaragua.

‘These agreements will further enhance New Zealand’s international air connectivity between Africa and the Americas, bringing both trade and tourism benefits. As an island nation, New Zealand relies heavily on its international air links. We’ll continue to build on these connections,’ Bridges said.

The new agreements were negotiated at the International Civil Aviation Negotiation Conference, held in December 2016. The annual conference provides an opportunity for officials from various States to meet in one location, and negotiate multiple agreements over five days.

Italian airline Alitalia has already made use of the new arrangements, adding Christchurch and Queenstown to its code-share network. New Zealand now has 61 air service agreements with other countries and territories.

‘New Zealand’s approach to liberalising air services has allowed for an open, competitive market, facilitating increased air traffic, lower air fares and stronger international trade links. I expect that further new air services opportunities will be announced during the course of this year,’ Bridges explained.

Under the new arrangements New Zealand and Colombian airlines may operate up to 14 passenger services per week, with no limits on the number of cargo services. The country also as agreements with Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Uruguay.

‘Strengthening our air links with South America has been a priority. New Zealand is well placed as a stopover point between South America and Asia. Building air links with broadens opportunities for people to explore New Zealand before continuing their travel elsewhere,’ Bridges pointed out.

International visitor arrivals set a new record in 2016 with 3.5 million for the year, up 12% compared to 2015. Bridges added that the new and enhanced arrangements will benefit tourism and trade.

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