26-Oct-2010 9:09 AM

Tonga ends JV with Air New Zealand

Kingdom of Tonga's Government advised (20-Oct-2010) Air New Zealand it wishes to terminate the JV agreement supporting the carrier's weekly service connecting Nukualofa and Apia with Los Angeles. The service will be suspended at the end of Jan-2011. For the past two years, Air New Zealand has been in a JV agreement whereby Tonga and the Government of Samoa have financially supported the operation of the service. The parties recently concluded negotiations on a new three-year agreement to commence on 01-Nov-2010; however Tonga has now chosen to activate the termination clause because it is unwilling to continue to fund any continuing losses. Air New Zealand will continue to operate its return services from Auckland to Samoa and Tonga. The airline operates seven times weekly Apia service and six times weekly Nukualofa service. Air New Zealand will be reviewing capacity on its services between Auckland and Tonga and Samoa to ensure there is adequate available space to accommodate passengers wanting to connect via its direct Auckland-Los Angeles services. Air New Zealand's weekly return service between Los Angeles and Auckland via Rarotonga is not affected by this change. [more]

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