Air New Zealand’s first flight to New South Wales as part of the ‘Safe Travel Zone’ will take off tomorrow.
As of Friday, passengers travelling from New Zealand will be able to travel to New South Wales without needing to quarantine on arrival to Australia, which was announced earlier this month by the federal government.
Before boarding, however, they will need to complete a health declaration confirming they have been in New Zealand for the past 14 days and will undergo health screening on arrival to Sydney.
Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said in order for the airline to continue to carry passengers safely and identify passengers with travel not originating in New Zealand, it has introduced what’s known as ‘quarantine’ and ‘quarantine-free’ flights.
“The quarantine-free flights will be for travellers originating from New Zealand who are flying from Auckland to Sydney and are not required to quarantine on arrival in Australia,” he said.
“Quarantine flights will be open to passengers who do not meet the Safe Travel Zone criteria and will be required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.
“Flight NZ103 tomorrow will depart Auckland at 10:40am NZT and will be a quarantine-free flight. It is expected to arrive in Sydney around 12:20pm (AEDT).
“It’s been a huge undertaking to ensure we are ready for this one-way arrangement,” Foran said.
“We know passengers on board may have been waiting a long time to get back to New South Wales. Around 90 per cent of those travelling on tomorrow’s flight are booked to travel one-way.”
The airline currently operates eight return flights between Auckland and Sydney per week and will look to operate two quarantine flights per week, while the remaining flights will be quarantine-free.
As for the trans-Tasman ‘bubble’ becoming a two-way street, Minister for Tourism Simon Birmingham said recently that Australians could be travelling to New Zealand as soon as the end of the year.