The Transport Council authorised the Commission to open negotiations with New Zealand on a comprehensive air transport agreement
on 13 June 2008
. The negotiations were opened on 25 November 2008 in Brussels.
The EU-New Zealand horizontal agreement ("Agreement between the European Community and New Zealand on certain aspects of air services ") was signed on 21 June 2006 and entered into force on 25 October 2007.
Due to the geographical distance between Europe and New Zealand, aviation is a key enabler for the EU's overall relations with New Zealand. New Zealand shares the EU’s market-driven and consumer-oriented approach to aviation policy. New Zealand, which has already signed a “horizontal agreement” with the EU, is among the most advanced nations in its region and globally with regard to the regulatory framework for aviation and market liberalisation.
The EU-New Zealand negotiations on a comprehensive air transport agreement aim at a reciprocal opening of market access within a framework that ensures fair competition and high standards of safety, security and environmental protection. The agreement will bring economic benefits to air carriers, airports, passengers, the tourism industry and the wider economy both within the EU and in New Zealand.