NEW ZEALAND AND TONGA SIGN OPEN SKIES AGREEMENT

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NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (February 13, 2002 - Radio Australia/PIR)---New Zealand and Tonga have signed an "open skies" agreement, giving each country’s airlines access to the other country’s routes.

New Zealand’s Acting High Commissioner in Tonga, Gareth Smith, and Tongan Prime Minister and Minister of Civil Aviation, Prince ‘Ulukalala Lavaka Ata signed the agreement.

New Zealand Minister of Transport Mark Gosche said the agreement would allow New Zealand and Tongan airlines to better establish themselves in each other’s countries and also operate services to third  countries without the requirement for each flight to return to the airline’s home country before continuing on to a third nation.

For additional reports from Radio Australia, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio Australia.

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