International airlines serving New Zealand on a scheduled basis are required to hold an International Air Service Licence. Among other things, these licences set out the routes and capacity that may be operated by the airline concerned.

The Minister of Transport is the licensing authority for New Zealand international airlines, apart from services to and from countries with which open aviation market arrangements have been negotiated and which the Minister of Transport has designated as open aviation markets1. In the case of these countries, and for foreign operators, the licensing authority is the Secretary for Transport.

Decisions to grant and amend International Air Service Licences or Open Aviation Market Licences are notified in the New Zealand Gazette. Initial enquiries and applications can be made by email to air services. The following information pamphlets set out the requirements for issue / amendment / renewal of:

Licensing provides the mechanism for authorising and monitoring the exercise of air traffic rights exchanged in bilateral negotiations. For New Zealand airlines, licensing is also the method for allocating New Zealand's air traffic rights.

A list of international airlines serving New Zealand is available here.


1 Australia, Brunei, the Cook Islands, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Samoa, Singapore, Tonga, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.