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New Zealand opens door to more flights to Philippines, Cambodia

WELLINGTON, July 9 (Xinhua) -- The number of flights between New Zealand and Southeast Asia is set to grow with the approval of new air services agreements with the Philippines and Cambodia, Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee said Wednesday.

"These agreements help provide New Zealanders with better access to Southeast Asia, providing for enhanced trade and tourism links," Brownlee said in a statement.

"New Zealand and the Philippines have a long and close relationship, and the enhancement of the air services arrangements is a further demonstration of this."

The Philippines agreement is a significant improvement to previous arrangements, phasing in the number of weekly permitted services between Auckland and Manila from seven flights at present to 21 flights in 2020 and removing all flight restrictions for services between all other points in New Zealand and the Philippines.

The agreement also enhances code-share arrangements to permit code-sharing with third country carriers.

"More than 40,000 Filipinos live in New Zealand and this agreement will make it easier for friends and relatives to visit each other in both countries," Brownlee said.

The new agreement with Cambodia places no limits on flights and routes operated by airlines, including destinations between and beyond both countries, and will allow airlines to pursue code- sharing arrangements to fly to and from Cambodia, including with third-country carriers.

"This is our first air services agreement with Cambodia, and is among the most open agreements we have with our bilateral partners in Southeast Asia," Brownlee said.

Both agreements are part of the New Zealand government's International Air Transport Policy, which has seen 32 new or amended agreements negotiated since August 2012.

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