The Transport Council authorised on 13 June 2008 the Commission to open negotiations with New Zealand on a comprehensive air transport agreement. The negotiations were opened in Brussels on 25 November 2008.
The agreement will aim at a reciprocal opening of market access within a framework that ensures fair competition and high standards of safety, security and environmental protection. New Zealand, which has already signed a “horizontal agreement” with the EU, is among the most advanced nations with regard to the regulatory framework for aviation and market liberalisation. New Zealand is a key driver of aviation liberalisation in its region and shares the EU’s market-driven and consumer-oriented approach to aviation policy. This should allow for swift negotiations with positive results for both sides. More importantly, negotiations with New Zealand could set benchmarks for air transport agreements worldwide, including close cooperation to address the environmental effects of air transport.
An agreement with New Zealand will bring economic benefits to air carriers, airports, passengers, the tourism industry and the wider economy both within the EU and in New Zealand.
Due to the geographical distance between Europe and New Zealand, aviation is a key enabler for our overall relations with New Zealand and the proposed agreement will help enhance this.