Destinations

YIPPEE! Two-way trans-Tasman bubble finally kicks off

Today is the day, folks!

As of midnight last night, the two-way trans-Tasman bubble is open, meaning Aussies and Kiwis can travel between Australia and New Zealand quarantine-free.

Regular flights between the two countries resumed today after more than a year of border closures.

“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,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“Both countries have done a remarkable job in protecting our communities from COVID and two-way flights are an important step in our road out.”

“It is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with Australia. Be it returning family, friends or holidaymakers, New Zealand says welcome and enjoy yourself.” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern 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.”

Qantas said in a release that flights to all pre-COVID destinations in New Zealand across 15 routes would resume and the airline will today start a new route between the Gold Coast and Auckland, marking the airline’s first-ever international flights from Gold Coast Airport.

Jetstar’s first departure JQ201 from Sydney to Auckland at 6:15am operated with its Airbus A320 aircraft, while Qantas’ first departure out of Sydney was QF143 to Auckland at 9:05am with its Airbus A330 aircraft.

Both flights landed in Auckland at close to full capacity, including a full Business cabin on Qantas.

Qantas’ first flight from Australia to New Zealand is QF151 Melbourne to Auckland departed at 8am.

Speaking from Sydney International Airport to farewell departing passengers, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said the opening of the two-way travel bubble was a significant milestone for both countries.

“Quarantine-free travel has been almost 400 days in the making.” he said.

“Reopening these flights across the Tasman is a very important milestone in the recovery from the pandemic for Australia and New Zealand but also aviation and tourism.”

Brisbane Airport has also been vocal about its enthusiasm for the opening of the two-way trans-Tasman bubble by opening 16 ‘green lane’ services today, with Air New Zealand and Qantas facilitating a combined eight arrivals and eight departures connecting Brisbane to Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch.

Around 1,800 seats are scheduled to operate each way today out of Brissy airport, with services forecast to be around 80 per cent full.

Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff, said the two-way travel bubble was vital with New Zealand being one of Queensland’s most important international markets.

“Today is an incredible day for the many families and friends who will be able to reunite, but also for the thousands of businesses in Brisbane, the regions, and across Queensland who rely on tourism,” he said.

“Brisbane Airport will welcome flights from Christchurch and Wellington for the first time since 28 March 2020, some 387 days, which, for us, it has felt almost as long as the last time the Wallabies won the Bledisloe Cup.”

APT Travel Group is among the wholesalers providing big discounts on New Zealand trips to celebrate the bubble.

Travelmarvel’s 15 Day New Zealand Getaway starts from just $4,245 per person twin share, including savings of up to $1,500 per couple when booking before 15 May 2021.

APT’s 7-Day New Zealand Wonderland tour loops around both the North and South Island’s best destinations, and is priced from $6,745 per person twin share, including a $1,500 saving per couple when booking before 15 May 2021. The brand is also offering two new small-ship expedition cruises in New Zealand waters.

Plus, ATG specialty botanical brand Botanica World Discoveries is also offering enticing NZ getaways with the chance to see the Taranaki Garden Spectacular in October 2021 on the nine-day NZ Taranaki Garden Spectacular and Private Gardens tour from Plymouth to Christchurch from $5,295.


Featured image source: Twitter/Brisbane Airport


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Hotels

W Brisbane appoints new hotel manager, marketing boss and chef de cuisine

As the saying goes, all good things come in threes. Unless, of course, we’re talking about baseball strikes.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Travel agents left out of NSW’s $530m plan to revive tourism and events

The plan includes vouchers to encourage domestic travel and a fund to lure international airlines back to Australia, but AFTA’s chief argues a crucial element of the industry has been left out.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

New marketing and PR agency launches with sustainable travel focus

Two senior names in the tourism marketing space have joined forces to launch a new purpose-led player, and you can probably guess its name from the accompanying pic.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Victoria reopens to fully-vaxxed travellers from Sydney, WA to allow quarantine-free travel for Queenslanders

Here are a couple more positive signs that domestic travel is getting back to the good old days.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Sunrise’s David “Kochie” Koch to host sustainable tourism webinar featuring industry heavyweights

Do you generally start your mornings with Kochie on TV? Well, you’ll be able to enjoy a double dose of him tomorrow.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas introduces automatic ticket revalidation enhancement for agents

Are you sick of flight schedule changes messing with your clients’ travel plans? Well, hopefully this new update by Qantas will help you contain your rage.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“Dust off the good china”: Chris Hemsworth agrees to visit Cowra for a “chinwag” following video campaign

The rural NSW town’s delightful ‘Get Chris to Cowra’ campaign appears to have paid off, with the Hollywood hunk planning a visit in 2022.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

The ACCC wants Trivago to be fined at least $90m for deceiving consumers

Australia’s consumer watchdog reckons Trivago’s crimes could, in theory, equate to hundreds of billions of dollars in fines, which makes $90 million look like a good deal to us.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid Travel unveils first rebrand in more than 15 years

It’s out with the old and in with the new over at Intrepid. However, it’s understood that the plush leather sofa in reception will stay.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Aussie aviation industry streamlines approach to guiding travellers through new restrictions

The differing reopening roadmaps of the states and territories will no doubt cause headaches for travellers, hence this from A4ANZ.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

Switzerland is calling

Aussies craving for their Swiss fix can now not only look forward to being welcomed back with wide-open arms, but also a host of brand new and thoroughly enriching experiences.

Share

CommentComments

Midweek Interview

Life in the time of COVID-19 with Hilton’s Paul Hutton

We covered a lot in our chat with Hilton’s boss for Australasia – even his music tastes. Just don’t play house or rap tunes around him, though.

Share

CommentComments