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International Air Transport Policy Welcomed

31 August 2012

MEDIA RELEASE

International Air Transport Policy Welcomed

The New Zealand Airports Association welcomes the Government’s new international air transport policy.

“New Zealand is a small and distant market, and airports are working hard on the front line to attract new and expanded air services. The new policy will sharpen New Zealand’s ability to increase air links with the world” said Association Chief Executive Kevin Ward.

Mr Ward said New Zealand tourism, travel and trade are heavily reliant on air transport links. International air services are critical to the economy strategically, and as drivers of inbound tourism, trade, export earnings and employment. Growth in connectivity is directly correlated with improved economic performance.

Airports are pleased to see increased flexibility in the policy to match new opportunities such as:

· Significant growth in markets new to New Zealand, and a shift in the centre of gravity in aviation towards Asian economies

· Extensive fleet growth outside New Zealand, with new aircraft types providing improved operating economics and capabilities

· Global airline alliances and joint ventures which challenge traditional regulatory regimes

· Growth of low cost carriers, and

· A trend towards open skies policies internationally, including Asia and the Middle East.

“We support the valuable contribution of New Zealand based airlines and the need for fair competition. The Minister has also introduced innovations for case-by-case assessments to ensure New Zealand’s overall best interest is achieved” said Mr Ward.

ends

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