Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


“Open Skies” Agreement Signed With Tonga

Transport Minister Mark Gosche says a new “open skies” agreement signed today will benefit travellers and traders between Tonga and New Zealand.

Tongan Prime Minister and Minister of Civil Aviation, Prince Ulukalala Lavaka ‘Ata, today signed the agreement in Tonga with New Zealand’s Acting High Commissioner in Nuku’alofa, Gareth Smith.

Mr Gosche said that under the new arrangements both countries’ airlines may operate over any routing, and with unlimited aircraft capacity.

“There are no limitations on the number of airlines of each party that may start services, and liberal tariff and airline ownership provisions are included. Code sharing is also permitted, including on the aircraft of third countries, enabling airlines to expand the services they offer to other regional destinations.”

The agreement also allows New Zealand and Tongan airlines to establish themselves in each other’s countries and operate services to third countries without any requirement for the services to touch the airline’s home country. The technical term for this is “seventh freedom” services.

Tonga’s national carrier, Royal Tongan Airlines, currently code shares on Air New Zealand services to New Zealand. Air New Zealand operates four Auckland-Nuku’alofa return services per week and one service per week beyond Tonga, to Los Angeles via Apia.

The new agreement replaces previous arrangements dating from 1980. Mr Gosche said that during the negotiations the Tongan delegation expressed concern about the timing of Air New Zealand services through Tonga.

“Air New Zealand has worked closely with the Pacific tourism industry for many years, and has generally tried to be responsive to the needs of smaller island countries. I am therefore pleased to note that Air New Zealand has rescheduled the arrival time of its Saturday Auckland-Nuku’alofa flight, so that passengers arrive in the afternoon rather than late evening. This also gives passengers the option of connecting directly to Tongan domestic services.”

Tonga is now New Zealand’s third “open skies” partner in the South Pacific, joining Samoa and the Cook Islands.

“Like our “open skies” agreements with our other Pacific Island neighbours, today’s agreement will result in greater flexibility in the provision of air services within the region,” said Mr Gosche.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>


More Justice & Corrections

Sector Opposes Bill: Local Government Bill Timeframe Extended

The Minister of Local Government Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga has asked the Select Committee to extend the report back date for the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2). More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news