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NZ Air Services Agreement With Philippines

NZ Air Services Agreement With Philippines

Prime Minister Helen Clark today announced that trade and tourism links between New Zealand and the Philippines are to be enhanced with the signing of a new air services agreement between the two countries.

Helen Clark and Philippines President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo today witnessed the signing of the agreement, at the East Asia Summit in Singapore.

It allows airlines from New Zealand and the Philippines to operate direct flights between the two countries.

"Until now the Philippines has been the only APEC economy with which New Zealand had not negotiated an air services agreement," Helen Clark said.

"The new agreement will create opportunities to further develop trade and tourism links between New Zealand and a rapidly growing APEC economy with a population of 91 million.

"I anticipate strong interest in the new arrangement from the increasing number of Filipino migrants living in New Zealand," Helen Clark said.

The new arrangements allow New Zealand airlines to operate three flights per week to Manila, or to Clark airport north of Manila, and then beyond Clark airport to an airport in China to be chosen by New Zealand.

Clark Airport is located on a former US Air Force base 80 kilometres north of Manila, and is seen as the future hub of Philippines air transport, because it is at the centre of a developing tourism and manufacturing site.

Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila is approaching saturation point with no room for expansion.

Designated airlines of the Philippines may operate three flights per week to either Auckland or Christchurch, via Darwin or an airport in South East Asia.

The agreement provides flexibility with respect to foreign ownership, but not control, of New Zealand and Filipino airlines and also allows for code-sharing between airlines of the two countries. It also includes strong provisions regarding aviation safety and security. It is effective immediately.

ENDS

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