10 Mar 2009

Subsidy for Air NZ flight to come from MFAT budget

3:11 pm on 10 March 2009

Prime Minister John Key says funding to subsidise a weekly flight by from Samoa to Los Angeles will come from the budget for Pacific aid.

Air New Zealand earlier asked the governments of Samoa and Tonga to help fund the flight, or it would have been cut to save money.

The New Zealand Government last month agreed to subsidise the weekly flight for one year.

Mr Key says the funding could be seen as part of the wider Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Pacific aid programme.

He says Tonga and Samoa are small nations that rely heavily on their air services.