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Cook Islands Get Direct Sydney Flights

By James Wilkinson

The Cook Islands, an emerging South Pacific conference and incentive destination, is set to be linked directly from Sydney for the first time in July 2010, when Air New Zealand launches flights to Rarotonga from Australia’s largest city.

Air NZ will launch Sydney-Rarotonga in 2010

The services come hot on the heels of Air New Zealand’s direct Sydney-Rotorua (NZ) flights, which launched last week (Dec 12), will be operated once per week by Boeing 767-300 aircraft for a four month period between July and October.

Air New Zealand’s new services mark not only the first time Sydney and Rarotonga have been directly linked, but also signal inaugural direct services between the two nations.

“We already carry a large number of passengers between Australia and the Cook Islands via Auckland,” said Air New Zealand general manager Tasman Pacific airline, Glen Sowry.

“The Cook Islands, including Aitutaki, is a very attractive destination to Australian travellers looking for a unique South Pacific experience.

“The introduction of direct services will provide a valuable boost to the Cook Islands community and with the support of the Cooks Islands Government and Cook Islands Tourism we will be working hard to make this trial a success,” Sowry said.

With a significant number of options for hosting conferences and incentive trips, the Cook Islands is closer than ever with the new flights, which has reduced flight times to six hours from Sydney and just over seven hours from Rarotonga.

One-way airfares start from $487 ex-Sydney.