Air New Zealand’s first quarantine-free flight to NSW has landed
As part of the ‘Safe Travel Zone’, this is the first time Australia has opened its borders since March.
As of Friday, 16 October, passengers travelling from New Zealand will be able to travel to New South Wales without needing to quarantine on arrival to Australia.
Before boarding, 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 Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says 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. 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.
“It’s been a huge undertaking to ensure we are ready for this one-way arrangement. We know passengers onboard may have been waiting a long time to get back to New South Wales. Around 90% 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 “limited trans-Tasman bubble” becoming a two-way street, Minister for Tourism Simon Birmingham has stated that Australians could be potentially travelling to New Zealand by the end of 2020.
In more positive news, Air New Zealand flights operating between Brisbane and Sydney to Norfolk Island have been increased for travel between 9 November 2020 and 23 March 2021, signalling the hopes the company has for travel in the next six months.