An open skies agreement (OSA) between Taiwan and New Zealand, which is included in the economic cooperation agreement that the two countries signed yesterday, would set no limit on the number of passenger and cargo flights, the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) said.
According to the agency, the OSA would allow airlines in both countries to determine the number of cargo and passenger flights they choose to offer. Based on the terms of the agreement, Taiwanese airlines will be able to dispatch flights to New Zealand via a third country. They will also enjoy the fifth freedom of the air — allowing them to pick up passengers in New Zealand and continue flying to another destination. The same privileges are to be enjoyed by flight carriers in New Zealand if they seek to offer flight services to Taiwan.
Aside from New Zealand, Taiwan has OSAs with the US, Japan and Singapore.
The OSA between Taiwan and New Zealand would replace the previous aviation pact that the two countries signed on May 28, 1996, the agency said.
Currently, flight services between Taiwan and New Zealand are operated by China Airlines, which launched the service in 2011. Under the current aviation pact, each side is only allowed seven passenger flights per week.
China Airlines offers three flights per week from Taoyuan to Auckland via Brisbane, Australia, and four flights to Auckland via Sydney, Australia, with the average occupancy rate for the Auckland-bound flights at about 80 percent. The airline said it would evaluate the possibility of increasing flight frequency.
EVA Airways stopped its flight service to New Zealand in 2008. The airline said it currently has no plans of reentering the market and would gauge market demand before considering resuming flight services.