Due to the geographical distance between Europe and New Zealand, aviation is a key enabler for the EU's overall relations with New Zealand. New Zealand is an established global leader with regard to the regulatory framework for aviation and market liberalisation.
A horizontal agreement with New Zealand was signed on 21 June 2006 and entered into force on 25 October 2007. This agreement allows any EU airline to operate flights between New Zealand and any EU Member State where it is established and where a bilateral agreement with New Zealand exists and traffic rights are available. It does not replace the bilateral agreements but adapts them to bring them into line with EU law. This is a major step change from the traditional set-up of aviation based on nationality restrictions and complements the EU's internal aviation market on the external side.
For further information and figures on EU-New Zealand aviation relations and EU aviation in general, please consult the Atlas of the Sky.