The Prime Minister’s announcement of a new open skies air services agreement between New Zealand and Brazil shows that the government is working quickly to implement the new International Air Transport Policy announced in August last year.

The Prime Minister witnessed the signing of the new agreement when visiting Brasilia as part of his trade mission to Latin America in early March.

Ministry of Transport’s General Manager Aviation and Maritime, Bruce Johnson, says the policy aims to grow the economy.

“It provides New Zealanders with better access to the world and helps increase trade in goods and services.

“The policy places more emphasis on increasing New Zealand’s connectivity to markets.”

In coming months, further agreements are expected to be made with countries in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and South America.

Brazil is often predicted to become one of the world’s most powerful emerging economies. It will also host the next FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games.

Travel between New Zealand and Brazil is increasing, with around 10,000 Brazilians visiting New Zealand each year and over 3,000 coming here to study. There are also expanding opportunities for trade.

Mr Johnson says the new agreement replaces one signed in 1996.

“The new agreement removes restrictions on the routes that can be operated and the number of flights that may be provided between and beyond the two countries.”

In addition, the agreement also removes potential restrictions on foreign investment in international airlines. It also includes provisions to promote cooperation between civil aviation regulatory authorities, similar to those entered into with China last year.

Chilean airline LAN currently operates throughout South America and into Auckland. LAN is in the process of merging with Brazilian airline TAM. The new air services agreement with Brazil would allow cooperation between these two airlines to serve New Zealand.

Air New Zealand has also publicly expressed an interest in operating to South America in the medium term.

The Brazil-New Zealand agreement was concluded at the International Civil Aviation Negotiation Conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in December 2012.


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