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New Zealand welcomes advent of Emirates service

New Zealand welcomes advent of Emirates service

Emirates Airlines decision to fly between Dubai and Auckland from 1 August would provide a significant boost to our links with the Middle East, Trade Negotiations Minister Jim Sutton said today.

>From August 1, Emirates' daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne will be extended on to Auckland providing 14 flights weekly in each direction. A third daily flight to Auckland via Brisbane is scheduled to start on 26 October, increasing Emirates services across the Tasman Sea to 21 flights weekly.

"Emirates has a big reputation. I have flown on it myself and had talks with its senior management when I visited Dubai last year."

Mr Sutton said a lack of air links was a major impediment to our growing relations with the Middle East.

"Emirates flying to New Zealand will not only improve our communications with the Middle East dramatically and increase trade opportunities between New Zealand and one of our most important markets in that region. It will also boost our efforts to attract visitors from the Arabian Gulf. Many from the Gulf are put off choosing New Zealand as a holiday destination because of the lack of a direct service. We are delighted that Emirates will resolve that problem with such a frequent regular service. "

Mr Sutton said the opening of the New Zealand Consulate General last year signalled that we had reached a new and exciting phase in our relationship with the United Arab Emirates.

"Dubai, where Emirates is based, has become the Middle East region's foremost trading and communications hub. The countries of the region are of growing importance to New Zealand as markets and sources of tourism. People-to-people links are vital to vibrant relationships.

"Our relationship is broadening. Education Minister Trevor Mallard was the fourth minister to visit the United Arab Emirates in the past couple of years. We expect UAE economic ministers to come to New Zealand once trade and taxation agreements with the Emirates are finalised later this year."

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