12 Sep 2006

Air New Zealand says Cooks/America route under review but no decision yet

8:05 pm on 12 September 2006

Air New Zealand has confirmed it's reviewing its flights from North America to the Cook Islands but says no decisions on the future of the route have been made.

This comes as the Government and business interests in the Cook Islands fear the loss of the service will cost them tourist from the key North American and European markets.

The airline says it is unable to subsidise unprofitable services but that no decisions have been made regarding any Pacific Island routes.

The Chamber of Commerce president, Teresa Manarangi-Trott, says a particular concern is this has arisen as the country garners good exposure in the US from the Survivor TV reality programme, while a British show, Shipwrecked, is also being filmed in the Cooks.

"That all means very good exposure for the Cook Islands. But if people hear about the Cook Islands but can't get here, that means that we are not going to receive the benefits that we thought might accrue from all of the work that is currently being done."

Teresa Manarangi Trott.