VANUATU AND NEW ZEALAND UPGRADE AIR LINKS

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PORT VILA, Vanuatu (April 5, 1998 - PACNEWS/Ioane)---The New Zealand and Vanuatu governments have agreed to a more liberal airline route schedule and increased passenger capacity between the two South Pacific countries.

Currently, Air Vanuatu flies directly to Auckland from Port Vila, but the new agreement, a revision of a1989 air services accord, gives Vanuatu more flexibility in the New Zealand services it is authorized to offer.

Among other changes, the revised agreement permits Air Vanuatu to increase the number of weekly flights to New Zealand.

The New Zealand High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Caroline McDonald, said the introduction of Air Vanuatu's new Boeing 737 aircraft soon will permit service increases. New Zealand looks forward to more Vanuatu-New Zealand flights, she added, and easier tourist and business travel between the two countries.

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