Air New Zealand will carry New Zealand's sporting elite when they travel to the next Olympic and Commonwealth Games as part of a renewed four year sponsorship agreement announced today between Air New Zealand and the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC).

The sponsorship will see almost 500 top New Zealand athletes winging their way to the Olympic Winter Games in Turin, February 2006, the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, March 2006 and the Olympic Games in Beijing, August 2008, onboard Air New Zealand and the Star Alliance network.

"A team of around 30 athletes and officials will attend the Olympic Winter Games in Turin and a further 370 athletes and officials will fly to Melbourne for the Commonwealth Games so we really appreciate having the support of Air New Zealand to get the whole team there and back," says NZOC Secretary General, Barry Maister.

"Air New Zealand also offers more seats from New Zealand to Melbourne than any other airline so it makes them the ideal partner to fly friends, family and New Zealand supporters over for the Commonwealth Games."

Air New Zealand's relationship with the NZOC extends back many years and the renewed contract ensures the carrier will continue as the official airline of the NZOC until December 2008.

In addition, Air New Zealand will also work with the NZOC to launch a scholarship programme for five Olympic athletes to mentor emerging talent.

"We're proud to be sponsoring our nation's top sporting talent and see this as a fitting compliment to our existing sponsorship of the All Blacks, New Zealand Sevens team, New Zealand Super 12 teams and the Air New Zealand NPC competition," says Air New Zealand Group General Manager Marketing, Network and Sales Norm Thompson.

"Furthermore, we see this as a great opportunity to promote both New Zealand and Air New Zealand to offshore markets."

Air New Zealand's sponsorship includes the following:

  • Principal Partner and Official Airline of the New Zealand Olympic Committee
  • Principal Partner and Official Airline of the New Zealand Olympic Team
  • Principal Partner and Official Airline of the New Zealand Olympic Winter Team
  • Principal Partner and Official Airline of the New Zealand Commonwealth Games Team

"Air New Zealand has been one of our most enduring partners and we're delighted that this relationship will continue for the next four years," says Mr Maister.


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Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs: Pam Wong - 09 336 3144 / 021 717 836

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.