Trans Tasman Travel And Domestic Aviation: Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum

Elias Hubbard
May 5, 2020

A trans-Tasman bubble could be formed after New Zealand's prime minister joins Australian leaders in a discussion about battling the coronavirus and easing restrictions.

The statement says they will also explore opportunities to expand the concept to members of the broader Pacific family once they have established effective travel across the Tasman.

He indicated flights to New Zealand might resume when Australia relaxed inside border controls. As they look to relax lockdown restrictions, the focus has shifted to reigniting their economies and both would benefit if they could open the borders to each other's tourists and business travelers.

There are about 75,000 Australians in New Zealand and more than half a million Kiwis in Australia.

This will enable travel between Australia, New Zealand and Pacific island countries.

"I think simply the position that I would take on behalf of New Zealand is that when we feel comfortable and confident that we both won't receive cases from Australia, but equally that we won't export them, then that will be the time to move". It was the first time a New Zealand leader had attended such a meeting since the Second World War.

Jacinda Ardern says the Government doesn't have the luxury of making the wrong move, after Simon Bridges criticised its decision to remain at Alert Level 3.

She said: "We will not have open borders for the rest of the world for a long time to come".

The Tasman is a marginal sea of the South Pacific Ocean, situated between Australia and New Zealand.

More than 4.4 million Australians have already downloaded the COVIDSafe app but Australian ministers have warned more people will have to sign up before the Federal Government will ease national restrictions.

Australia - which has a population of around 25 million, five times that of New Zealand - has had nearly 7,000 cases and 96 deaths.

"It could be a very good model for the global market opening up in phases", the chief of Australia's largest airline told reporters.

Australia and New Zealand should continue to maintain distinct "constitutions, foreign policies and rugby teams", he said.

Australia has recorded around 6,800 infections and 96 deaths, and New Zealand 1,137 cases and 20 fatalities, thanks to the early imposition in both countries of social-distancing rules and the closure of borders to global visitors.

A fully functioning domestic aviation industry means we will be able to again provide an integrated aviation service to those visiting New Zealand, be it for business or pleasure.

Qantas is now operating only 5 per cent of its pre-crisis domestic passenger network and 1 per cent of its worldwide network.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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