The trans-Tasman bubble is officially open.
Today marks the first day New Zealanders and Australians can travel across the ditch quarantine-free. It is the first time New Zealand has been open to travellers since our borders closed over a year ago.
Twenty flights will land from Australia in Auckland on Monday April 19, with around 400 flights landing by the end of the week. Qantas, Jetstar, and Air New Zealand are projected to fly 10,000 passengers on the trans-Tasman route today alone.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Greg Foran said in a statement on Friday today was the airline’s “day 1 of their revival.”
"Monday will go down in history as one of the most monumental days for Air New Zealand and a real turning point for the airline.”
Foran estimates three-quarters of passengers flying across the Tasman will be family and friends reuniting with loved ones. “We're humbled to be part of these reunions and reconnecting people who have missed out on so much over the last year."
Air New Zealand says they will be able to ramp up flights to 300 a week during the peak of New Zealand and Australian school holidays in July.
Travellers must wear a mask on the flight and complete health paperwork before flying.
Both New Zealand and Australia are hoping the travel bubble will provide some much-needed relief to both tourism industries. Pre-Covid, Australian visitors would spend around NZ$2.7 billion a year in Aotearoa, staying 11 days on average. New Zealanders accounted for 1.3 million arrivals to Australia in 2019, contributing AU$2.6 billion to the Australian economy.
“Today’s milestone is a win-win for Australians and New Zealanders, boosting our economies while keeping our people safe and just in time for ANZAC Day,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.
“The bubble marks a significant step in both countries' reconnection with the world and it’s one we should all take a moment to be very proud of,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.