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Italy Success Creates New Air Services Opportunity

4 February 2000

Italy Success Creates New Air Services Opportunities

Italy is New Zealand’s newest air services partner, the Minister of Transport, Mark Gosche, announced today.

“The recently negotiated air services agreement creates additional trade and tourism opportunities between New Zealand and Italy, and builds upon the success of the America’s Cup event,” he said.

“This agreement provides a sound basis for the development of direct air links between Italy and New Zealand, enhancing options for travellers from both countries.”

Italy is the world’s 5th largest economy, and potentially an important source of tourism for New Zealand. More than 8,000 Italians visited New Zealand in the year ended October 2000, an increase of nearly 26% over the previous year.

"The agreement will be an important boost to New Zealand’s attractiveness as a tourism destination in the Italian market, and will help maximise benefits to our economy arising from the next defence of the America’s Cup in 2002/03," said Mr Gosche.

The agreement gives the airlines of each country the opportunity to put in place up to three services per week with their own aircraft, and provides unrestricted code-sharing opportunities, including with airlines of other countries.

Destination points are limited to Rome and Auckland, but intermediate and beyond points are unrestricted providing for flexible route structures.

“New Zealand now has air services arrangements with all of its top 25 air services markets”, said Mr Gosche.

The air services agreement, which is, in effect, being applied provisionally in anticipation of signature, is the first such agreement between New Zealand and Italy.

The deal will also create opportunities for New Zealand’s trade relationship with Italy. Italy is New Zealand’s third largest export market in Europe, currently worth $420 million per annum to the New Zealand economy. Italy is also a major source of imports for New Zealand, currently worth $580 million per annum.

"More than 2 billion people travel the world's airways every year. Negotiating new, improved international air services is vital if we are going to foot it in the global economy," said Mr Gosche.

Last month Mr Gosche and Tourism Minister Mark Burton announced a new air services agreement with Japan that is expected to translate into 30,000 extra tourists per annum. Last November Mr Gosche announced an Open Skies Agreement with Australia that ended more than a decade of negotiations.

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