The Kingdom of Tonga has given notice that it wishes to terminate the joint venture agreement supporting the weekly Air New Zealand service connecting Nukualofa and Apia with Los Angeles. The service will be suspended at the end of January 2011.
For the past two years Air New Zealand has been in a joint venture agreement whereby the Kingdom of Tonga and the Government of Samoa have financially supported the operation of this service. The parties recently concluded negotiations on a new three year agreement to commence on 1 November 2010; however the Kingdom of Tonga has now chosen to activate the termination clause because it is unwilling to continue to help fund any continuing losses.
Air New Zealand will continue to operate its return services from Auckland to both Samoa and Tonga as normal. The airline operates seven return services to Apia and six return services to Nukualofa each week.
Air New Zealand will be reviewing capacity on its services between Auckland and both 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 thanks the Kingdom of Tonga and the Government of Samoa for participating in this agreement for the past two years and regrets that the arrangement is no longer financially viable for some of the parties. The Governments of Samoa and Tonga wish to express their appreciation of the financial support that they have received from the New Zealand Government to support this service.
Air New Zealand's weekly return service between Los Angeles and Auckland via Rarotonga is not affected by this change.
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320
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