14 Apr 2009

New Cooks routes to offer cheaper links to NZ and Australia

1:40 pm on 14 April 2009

Air Rarotonga says providing direct flights between the Northern Cooks Islands and Samoa will be faster and cheaper for travellers.

The carrier plans to link Penrhyn, Manihiki and Pukapuka to Apia and thereby offering more efficient access to and from New Zealand and Australia.

Air Rarotonga's Managing Director Ewan Smith says the idea is to plan arrival and departure times to allow travellers between the Cook Islands and Samoa to get connecting flights to and from Auckland, Sydney and Brisbane.

"Traditionally people have travelled through Rarotonga because they have relatives there, that sort of thing. But there seems to be a considerable amount of the population in the Northern group in fact who want to go to New Zealand or Australia to visit relatives and so it's just a matter of providing the most efficient way of getting them there, and that's definitely via Apia."

Ewan Smith says the direct flights from the Northern Cook Islands to Samoa will cost the same amount as flying from Rarotonga to Samoa.