COOK ISLANDS ENCOURAGING MORE AIR NEW ZEALAND FLIGHTS

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RAROTONGA, Cook Islands (September 7, 1997 - Radio Australia)---A senior Cook Islands tourist industry executive has called on Air New Zealand to operate more flights to the South Pacific nation.

Air New Zealand, the only international carrier flying to the Cook Islands, currently offers scheduled service from Auckland, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Tahiti, and Fiji.

The Chairman of the Cook Islands Tourism and Accommodation Industry, Des Eagleton, says new hotels will open over the next several months in the Cooks and Air New Zealand should schedule extra flights.

"Those additional rooms will create the need for increased air services," he said, "and we would expect the airline --our main carrier, Air New Zealand-- to respond both in terms of capacity and frequency to enable businesses, accommodation houses, and hotels to maintain the high occupancies they've enjoyed over the last three or four months."

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