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New Air Agreement With Samoa

"Travellers stand to benefit now that competitive air fares are permitted between New Zealand and Samoa", Transport Minister Maurice Williamson announced today.

"Airlines no longer have to agree between them on the fares they charge, and are free to offer choices to consumers. The price of travelling between New Zealand and Samoa has come under scrutiny from time to time. This pro-competitive measure will help address previous concerns", Mr Williamson said.

"This liberalisation of fare setting arrangements is one of a number of new air services provisions New Zealand has recently been able to negotiate with the Government of Samoa, and represents an important enhancement of the Air Services Agreement we signed with the then Western Samoa in 1978", Mr Williamson said.

"Shippers of cargo in New Zealand and Samoa also stand to gain with agreement that each country may now have an all-cargo airline provide services.

"For both countries, many of our exports are perishable. The extra capacity an all-cargo airline can offer has the potential to be a blessing for those in time sensitive markets, especially as such airlines may operate as much capacity as they wish."

"This announcement comes on the heels of a number of initiatives over the past six months that have created additional opportunities in terms of New Zealand's international air services. Other openings and enhancements are being actively pursued in the region and elsewhere", Mr Williamson concluded.

Also agreed upon in negotiations with Samoa were a small capacity increase for Polynesian Airlines on its services between New Zealand and Australia, the potential for airlines of New Zealand and Samoa to incorporate the French territory of Wallis Island in their services, and provision for code-sharing on third-country carriers.

ENDS

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