7 Apr 2008

Cook Islands government to appeal for new Air NZ flights

5:27 am on 7 April 2008

The Cook Islands Government says it has been left out in the cold by Air New Zealand's decision to discontinue a second weekly flight from Los Angeles to Rarotonga in the peak December/March period.

The Tourism Minister, Wilkie Rasmussen, says the flights, for which his Government helps cover revenue shortfalls, are worth millions to the industry.

Mr Rasmussen says they have decided to ask Air New Zealand to entertain the idea of other routes.

"We now wish to speak with Air New Zealand for a flight to come through Australia to here, to the Cook Islands, and we have got West Jet which is a smaller company in Canada, North America, which has shown some interest in flying through to the Cook Islands. So we have got several options that we have to talk about. Basically we want to address the fact that our tourism revenue will be affected by the decision by Air New Zealand."