New Zealand Signs Air Deal With Greece: Expects Tourism Boost

By @diplomatist10 on
Safety in Paradise’ video by Air New Zealand.
Screen capture from OFFICIAL ‘Safety in Paradise’ video by Air New Zealand. Reuters/Stringer

New Zealand has signed an air services deal with Greece for code sharing of flights between both the countries. However, the agreement does not guarantee any direct flights. According to Transport Minister Simon Bridges, the deal will help airlines in either countries to take up the flying rights in the long term, if they spot a viable market opportunity.

"Our view is that it has some realistic prospect of actually seeing people to people movement between New Zealand and Greece,'' the minister said in Leipzig, Germany, where the deal was inked. "I don't think it is pie in the sky - it's for real and in the medium term it could mean more Kiwis holidaying in the Greek Islands and vice versa.'' Bridges was in Leipzig for the International Transport Forum summit. where expansion of trade and tourism was the agenda for policy makers and business leaders from 60 countries, reports New Zealand Herald.

Benefits

Under the bilateral agreement with Greece, the airlines would offer passengers a single ticket for flights in a number of carriers. Minister Bridges took up the issue of air services liberalisation with a number of ministers he met in Leipzig where New Zealand assumed the ITF presidency. OECD's head of tourism, Alain Dupeyras said enhancing air links will do good for New Zealand. "Air Services agreements will be important to support this,” he added.

Air liberalisation in New Zealand is driven by its International Air Transport Policy launched in August 2012. Thanks to it, 40 new or amended agreements have been signed. A deal was signed in 2014 with the Philippines national carrier and it has already announced the start of services from December 2015.

New Deals

Among the newly secured 10 air service deals, there is a great deal of diversity. It ranges from Bahrain in the Middle East to Curacao in the Caribbean. Other air services agreements include Colombia, Egypt, Oman, Serbia and the Seychelles. New arrangement has also been reached with the Czech Republic. "The new arrangements will 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,” the Transport Minister said.

According to Bridges, with the air service agreements covering Bahrain and Oman, New Zealand has got complete air services agreements with all members of the Gulf Co-operation Council and that is going to strengthen New Zealand's exposure in the Middle East market.

(For feedback/comments, contact the writer at k.kumar@ibtimes.com.au)