New Zealand Embassy Brasilia, Brazil

Air services agreement with Brazil welcomed

Prime Minister John Key and Brazil´s President Dilma Rousseff. Photo: Roberto Stuckert / PR

Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee welcomed today the Prime Minister’s announcement in Brazil on 11 March of a new open skies air services agreement between New Zealand and Brazil.

“Brazil is touted to become one of the world’s most powerful emerging economies,” Mr Brownlee says.

“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 3000 coming here to study.

“There are also expanding opportunities for trade.

“This new agreement replaces one signed in 1996. It 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,” Mr Brownlee says.

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, although what it does under the new agreement is a commercial decision for the company .

“This agreement with Brazil shows that we are working quickly to implement the new International Air Transport Policy announced in August last year,” Mr Brownlee says.

The policy aims to grow the economy by providing New Zealanders with better access to the world and helping increase trade in goods and services. It places more emphasis on increasing New Zealand’s connectivity to markets.

“In coming months, I expect to be able to announce further agreements with countries in Europe, the Middle East, South East Asia and South America,” Mr Brownlee says.

The Brazil-New Zealand agreement was concluded at the International Civil Aviation Negotiation Conference in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in December 2012. The Prime Minister witnessed the signing when visiting Brasilia as part of his trade mission to Latin America.

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