New Zealand and China have agreed on new air services arrangements, which will create significant new opportunities for the airlines between the two countries, Transport Minister Pete Hodgson said Tuesday.
Hodgson said in a statement that new air services arrangements negotiated with China mean New Zealand and Chinese airlines may now operate to and from any points in each country. Previously only two airports in each country were available.
There is also more flexibility provided for the airlines of each country to operate via third countries and beyond each other's territory. Cargo aircraft may now operate without any restrictions on routes or the number of flights offered, he said.
Restrictions on the types of aircraft that can be used for passenger services have been removed, effectively doubling the number of seats that can be offered. Restrictions on the number of airlines that may operate services have also been removed.
Hodgson said new code-share opportunities would allow Air New Zealand, for example, to access China in association with its partner airlines from third countries. Provision has been made for the airlines to use leased aircraft in their operations.
The minister said these new air services arrangements further strengthen the growing trade and economic relationship New Zealand enjoys with China.
(Xinhua News Agency May 19, 2004)