Accord clears way for possible direct flights between New Zealand, Philippines

November 12, 2014 11:40 am 

WELLINGTON, Nov. 12 — Direct flights between New Zealand and the Philippines might become possible under an air services agreement signed by the two countries Wednesday, said New Zealand Transport Minister Simon Bridges.

The arrangement, signed by Bridges and Philippines Ambassador Virginia Benavidez, amended the 2007 Air Services Agreement between the two countries to allow Air New Zealand begin plans to code-share to the Philippines with Singapore Airlines from January next year.

"The Philippines is an important friend and trading partner for New Zealand. Over 40,000 Filipinos have chosen to live and work here. They are making a valuable contribution to our economy, including the rebuilding of Christchurch," Bridges said in a statement.

"Currently there is no direct air service between the two countries, however, the new code-sharing provision will help develop the market and build momentum towards possible direct flights in the future," he said.

"Our Filipino community will soon find it easier to travel between New Zealand and their homeland for holidays and to connect with their friends and family. New Zealanders wishing to visit the Philippines will also benefit from improved airline connections between the two countries."

Almost 14,000 Filipinos visited New Zealand in the year to the end of September, while just over 19,000 New Zealanders travelled to the Philippines as their main overseas destination in the same period. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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