6 Jul 2002

Air New Zealand approves extra flight through Cook Islands to US I

9:34 am on 6 July 2002

Air New Zealand has agreed to add a flight through Cook Islands to the United States after initial plans to drop one.

The Cook Islands prime minister, Dr Robert Woonton, was part of a delegation which met with the Air New Zealand chief executive, Ralph Norris, this week.

The airline has now committed to providing an additional weekly flight from Rarotonga to Los Angeles via Tahiti.

Dr Woonton says he was surparised at how obliging Air New Zealand were, and he says both parties have agreed to consult more widely in future.

"There was a general agreement that in any rescheduling of flights through the Cook Islands, the stakeholders should be consulted... not just the Government, but the tourism industry in the Cook Islands."

Dr Woonton also says Air New Zealand has made a commitment to support the lengthening of the runway in Rarotonga.