Air New Zealand is adding its tenth Australian destination with a non-stop service between Hobart and Auckland.
However, the airline said in a statement it won’t be launching until quarantine-free travel is up and running between Australia and New Zealand.
A one-way bubble between Australia and New Zealand kicked off in October last year, allowing Kiwi citizens to enter Australia without undergoing any time in hotel quarantine.
However, Australians are still not permitted to travel to New Zealand without undergoing a mandatory 14-day quarantine upon entry.
The airline’s CEO Greg Foran said he expects this new route to be a great attraction for both Tasmanians and Kiwis.
“This route will be a much-needed economic boost for the tourism industry,” he said.
“Pre-COVID-19, Tasmania was the largest Australian port unserved by a direct route from New Zealand, and in 2019 nearly 57,000 passengers travelled from New Zealand to Tasmania, so we expect this new route to stimulate even greater demand between the two destinations.
“We’ll be providing flights on Thursdays and Sundays to make the most of domestic connectivity and provide the best long weekend options for travellers.”
While Tasmania will be a key destination for Kiwis, the route will open opportunities for Tasmanians to explore more of New Zealand too.
“We know Tasmanians love to visit New Zealand and this non-stop service to Auckland will make it that much easier to get out into our great outdoors and access our winter playgrounds.
“Australian visitors will be able to connect to the other 19 ports we fly to in New Zealand. So with a flight time of just four hours to Auckland, customers are only a short skip away from the ski fields of the South Island, the vineyards of the central plateau, and the culture and history of Northland.”
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said the announcement of the new non-stop flights to Hobart from New Zealand is a significant opportunity for both destinations.
“I am very pleased that this service will enable us to welcome more New Zealanders to our State and encourage them to consider booking their next holiday in Tassie and see what we have to offer.”
Subject to final contract agreement, and government and regulatory approval, the airline will be flying year-round between Auckland and Hobart twice weekly using its A320neo fleet.
Tickets will go on sale once quarantine-free travel across the Tasman is available.