11 Jul 2009

New Zealand PM pledges help for Rarotonga-LA route

8:10 am on 11 July 2009

The New Zealand Prime Minister has ended his goodwill tour of the Pacific by agreeing to financially back Air New Zealand flights to the Cook Islands, which are crucial to its tourism industry.

"John Key says New Zealand will support the Cook Islands Government's decision to underwrite any loss on the airline's Los Angeles-Rarotonga-Auckland route, with a capped 600-thousand US dollar ($NZ1 million) contribution in this financial year."

Mr Key says that's consistent with the position its already taken with flights to Samoa and Tonga


IN:......The link here from Rarotonga to LA is a very critical one for the. They are very high value, high spending, high yielding tourists that come out of the United States partly they're Americans, but they are also from Europe and the like. So it's something that has been very welcomed over here.

DUR:...17 secs

John Key says it makes sense from a New Zealand perspective to help the Cook Islands to maintain its links with the outside world and develop its tourism sector.