31 Oct 2006

Air New Zealand changes flight schedules to Cook Islands and Tahiti

7:36 am on 31 October 2006

Air New Zealand says high passenger demand has dictated new schedule changes to its Cook Islands and Tahiti flights.

The airline's Norm Thompson says demand from the Europe and the U.S. markets has justified reintroducing a non stop service between Los Angeles and Rarotonga.

Air New Zealand had flown the direct LA to Rarotonga route previously but had stopped it in 2002.

The weekly service will recommence in April but during peak months it will operate twice a week.

But, Mr Thompson says the airline will be suspending its Rarotonga-Papeete-Los Angeles service that currently operates three times a week.

"It was a tough decision given we'd been flying it for some time, but economically it was the right decision to make. We'll maintain our services to Tahiti out of NZ and will be flying twice a week between Auckland and Tahiti and we'll also have Air Tahiti Nui operating twice a week as well, and we'll code share on each of our services."

Air New Zealand's Group general manager, Norm Thompson.