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Improved Air Services Arrangements with North Asia

Improved Air Services Arrangements with North Asia

Minister of Transport Paul Swain has welcomed recent changes to air services arrangements with Korea and Japan, which were approved by Cabinet on Monday.

The New Zealand and Korean governments have agreed that each other’s airlines may provide up to 11 return flights each week between the two countries. Previously the airlines were restricted to the equivalent of 4.2 scheduled Boeing 747 services each week.

Both governments have also agreed to remove restrictions on where flights can stop en route and where they can land so passengers in Korea and New Zealand could have a greater choice of destinations. They have also agreed to increase the flexibility of code-share services, which would allow the possibility of extra airlines in the Korea - New Zealand aviation market.

“Korea represents one of the fastest growing tourism markets for New Zealand and these arrangements allow the airlines to plan for meeting this demand,” said Mr Swain.

“In the year ended July 2002 more than 98,000 Korean visitors came to New Zealand.

“Korean Air, which is one of the airlines that will benefit from these new arrangements, also plays a role in carrying visitors to New Zealand from Europe, Japan and the growing China market.

In other negotiations, the New Zealand and Japanese governments agreed that Air New Zealand may use larger Boeing 747 aircraft instead of Boeing 767 aircraft on three of its seven services per week from Kansai, near Osaka. Previously this had been permitted on only two services per week.

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“This change gives Air New Zealand the opportunity to offer around 160 extra seats per week on flights from Japan and will make a significant contribution to the continued growth in inbound tourism from that market” said Mr Swain.

“Japan is currently New Zealand’s fourth largest source of overseas visitors. Approximately 150,000 Japanese visit New Zealand each year and they are among the highest spending visitors to this country.

Last week Mr Swain and the Japanese Ambassador signed the exchange of diplomatic notes formalising a previously agreed change, which allows New Zealand airlines to serve Tokyo and Osaka on a co-terminal basis.

“These new arrangements are a continuing demonstration of the strong bilateral aviation links between New Zealand and Japan,” said Mr Swain.

“The new air services arrangements with North Asia represent a significant step toward the ultimate goal of open skies.”

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