Today's new International Air Transport Policy Statement
is being described by Christchurch International Airport Limited
(CIAL) as a significant change in thinking.
One aspect of the new policy gives favourable
consideration to airlines offering new services to and from
Christchurch, to assist with the region's recovery from the
"That aspect alone effectively creates 'Open Skies' over
Christchurch until 2017 and is invaluable for the South Island,"
says CIAL Chief Executive Jim Boult. "It's the kind of breakthrough
thinking Christchurch needs right now.
"It is a particularly insightful gesture towards assisting
Christchurch and the region in its recovery. We look forward to
engaging with airlines interested in bringing more travellers to
the stunning South Island, via Christchurch Airport," he
"We are the entry point to the best New Zealand has to
offer and it is images of the South Island which lure overseas
tourists here. This new policy means any airline can take advantage
of this especially supportive policy to bring the world's
"We congratulate the Ministry and the Minister on their
common sense approach in considering the many submissions from
aviation and tourism industry groups, then confirming a policy
which puts emphasis on connecting New Zealand to global
Mr Boult says the policy sets a foundation for wider
discussions with airlines locally and in long-haul distant markets
about services to and from Christchurch, including new air services
from countries where the city was previously hampered, such as
Indonesia and India.
Chief Executive of the Tourism Industry Association,
Martin Snedden, also applauds the new policy.
"This window of opportunity to 2017 in effect provides the
South Island with a unique opportunity to get more long-haul air
services to Christchurch, to the benefit of all of the South Island
tourism operators and the broader visitor economy," he
"This is good news for exporters and importers, because it
potentially enables better access to wide body aircraft to carry
time sensitive, high value or perishable products and goods to
Airport CEO Jim Boult says the policy supports on-going
discussions between the airport and airlines.
"We are continuing meaningful discussions with several
airlines and though these things take time, I remain optimistic of
a positive outcome," he says.
"We are working hard to support the city and region's
recovery and this 'out of the box' thinking for Christchurch is
testament to new thinking about how to make a real