Trans-Tasman flights as new travel bubble on the horizon

Joanna Estrada
April 20, 2021

- AFP Danny Mather, right, and other family members wait at the Wellington International Airport for the arrival of Mather's pregnant daughter Kristy in Wellington, New Zealand, Monday.

The bubble, which followed months of negotiations between the largely coronavirus-free neighbours, was hailed as a major milestone in restarting a global travel industry that has been crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the two nations have made assurances that small outbreaks won't result in the bubble being closed.

Hundreds of Australian passengers on Monday were greeted at Auckland Airport with welcome signs and live music, as New Zealand opened its doors to quarantine-free travel from its bigger neighbor for the first time since COVID-19 brought the world to a standstill in March 2020. - AFP A family reunites upon arrival from New Zealand at Sydney International Airport on April 19.

"With 60,000 Kiwis living on the Gold Coast and the region rating highly on travel wish lists of New Zealand residents, we expect these services to be extremely popular in both directions", Mr Mills said. "It's just so good to see her and I'm just so happy to have her back".

"I'll be going back, they'll be coming over, we'll just be back to normal", she said.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce described today as "an awesome day" with the airline bringing 630 employees back to work for the 16 flights departing Australia today.

A woman hugs her daughter and grand-daughter at Sydney International Airport
A woman hugs her daughter and grand-daughter at Sydney International Airport Credit Jenny Evans /Getty Images AsiaPac

'What's really important is we knew this was someone who was tested only recently, ' the Prime Minister said.

Ardern said Australia Foreign Minister Marise Payne would travel to New Zealand on Wednesday.

The worker is not very sick and has not been hospitalised, Ms Ardern added.

Qantas will ramp up flights between the countries to about 200 each week, while Air New Zealand said it had quadrupled its flights to 30 on Monday, with its airplanes flying into New Zealand 97% full.

In 2019, 1.5 million Australians travelled to New Zealand, while 1.4 million New Zealanders travelled to Australia, according to their respective tourism marketing organisations.

The start of the bubble comes ahead of the New Zealand ski season and is welcome news for many tourist towns, including the ski resort of Queenstown.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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