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MIL OSI – Source: National Party – New agreements strengthen global links The approval of 10 new and amended air services agreements, or arrangements, will strengthen global links for Kiwi travellers and businesses, Transport Minister Simon Bridges says. Cabinet has approved new air services agreements with Bahrain, Colombia, Egypt, Greece, Oman, Serbia and the Seychelles that will give greater options for New Zealanders travelling to those countries. It has also confirmed arrangements reached with the Czech Republic and Curaçao to provide opportunities for airlines to offer code-share services, where two or more airlines share the same flight. “The new arrangements mean that airlines from these countries will have the opportunity to offer services to New Zealand if they see commercial opportunities – unhindered by the regulatory barriers that characterise much of international aviation. “Similarly, New Zealand airlines now have the opportunity to offer services in these markets”, Mr Bridges says. An amendment to an agreement with China announced in November last year, has been confirmed, doubling the number of services airlines that can operate between both countries. “The amendment provides immediate opportunities for continued growth in air services between New Zealand and China following an increase in weekly services from three to 21 in the last four years,” Mr Bridges says. The agreements with Bahrain and Oman mean that New Zealand now has air services agreements with all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. “These agreements remove the barriers for Gulf carriers seeking to fly to New Zealand and will pave the way for stronger links with the Middle East, further underpinning the Government’s Gulf Trade Strategy,” Mr Bridges says. All 10 agreements or arrangements were negotiated by Ministry of Transport officials at the International Civil Aviation Negotiation Conference held in Indonesia in November 2014. Since the Government launched its International Air Transport Policy in August 2012, over 40 new or amended agreements have been negotiated. “The government will continue to seek opportunities to open and expand new and existing air links with other countries,” Mr Bridges says. More information about New Zealand’s international air services agreements is available on the Ministry of Transport’s website Background information: International air services are highly regulated. Under a global system dating back to the 1940’s, airlines are only able to operate services between two countries where the governments involved have entered into a treaty-level arrangement referred to as an air services agreement. Air services agreements set the conditions under which international air services may be operated. There are several thousand bilateral air services agreements in-force globally, resulting in a complex web of regulation. –]]>