India and New Zealand on 1 May 2016 signed an Air Services Agreement paving the way for introduction of direct flights between the two countries.The agreement was signed in the presence of the President Pranab Mukherjee and the New Zealand Prime Minister John Key. Mukherjee was on an official tour to Papua New Guinea (April 28-29, 2016) and New Zealand (April 30 to May 2, 2016). The agreement was signed under the Convention of International Civil Aviation opened for signature at Chicago on 7 December 1944. It was opened with an aim to promote international air services between their respective territories.
The agreement will lead to easier connectivity that has inhibited both business travel and people-to-people contact in the past.Business, Education and Tourism have grown exponentially between India and New Zealand in the recent years. There are nearly 175000 persons of Indian origin in New Zealand of which about 15000 are Indian students. The two-way trade between the two countries has doubled in the last few years. The two-way tourist traffic has also witnessed sharp rise, partly due to the exotic and pristine locales of New Zealand shown in Indian movies.