On 14 July 2011 the New Zealand Associate Minister of Transport, Nathan Guy, announced that New Zealand's air services negotiators had been issued with mandates for negotiations with up to 10 countries in East Asia and South America. China and Brazil were specifically named. These regions are seen as emerging markets with considerable growth potential. In addition, the prospect of Auckland (AKL) gaining a share of East Asia-South America traffic is referred to. The statement refers to the LAN-Cathay Pacific code share via Auckland (see previous post).
Auckland and Christchurch airports both made media statements welcoming the announcement.
On 15 July 2011 Flight Global (Will Horton) and Aviation Week (Adrian Schofield) covered the news. The latter noted that capacity restrictions applied under New Zealand's current air services agreements with China and Brazil.
A 21 July 2011 Air Transport Intelligence article by Will Horton notes the technology and alliance challenges Air New Zealand faces if it is to serve Brazil.
The Minister's media statement also announced the New Zealand had reached agreement with the Netherlands to remove restrictions on code sharing. This allows SkyTeam member, KLM, to code share to AKL via Guangzhou on the new China Southern operation (see previous post). KLM has been code sharing to New Zealand on Malaysia Airlines which is joining the oneworld alliance.