Air travellers in New Zealand will get a dose of New Zealand music before they fly from this week.

The country's national carrier Air New Zealand has adopted a policy of playing only New Zealand music videos on its fleet of 14 domestic 737 aircraft. About 50 videos will be screened before boarding and prior to take-off.

The NZ-music-only policy extends to domestic gate lounges and air-bridges, which have been fitted with new sound speakers.

Bruce Parton, Air New Zealand's group GM of short haul airlines, says, "We've made a long-term commitment to New Zealand music that we hope will ultimately help the music industry to grow. By playing 100% Kiwi music on our domestic jets, we are exposing New Zealand music to a new audience including overseas visitors to our country."

Domestic passenger numbers for the airline was unavailable but the company said the number of passengers on domestic and international flights was up 6.2% in October 2007 compared to October 2006. Plans are to roll out more New Zealand music on its 97 planes to 48 international destinations.

The carrier will launch the new 100% NZ music this week with acts Dave Dobbyn, Goldenhorse, the Electric Confectionaires, Tiki, Ladi6 and Parks, Opshop, and PDiggs from Shapeshifter performing live sets at domestic gate lounges. These shows took place at Auckland and Christchurch domestic airports yesterday and today, respectively, and in Wellington on Dec 21.

Cath Andersen, Auckland-based CEO of the New Zealand Music Commission, says "it's fantastic to see our national carrier become a true flagship for New Zealand culture through our music. By throwing its weight behind our local music industry, Air New Zealand is ensuring that many more great New Zealand songs are heard by fellow Kiwis and international visitors alike."

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