First flights to New Zealand set to occur from July
09.06.2020

First flights to New Zealand set to occur from July

Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand
Words by Talia Rinaldo via Forte

As part of the trans-Tasman travel bubble.

Time to dust the cobwebs off your suitcase, it looks like we’ll be able to jump on a plane and head on a little holiday very soon.

While America and Europe are off the cards, a little getaway to New Zealand could be just what the explorers and travel bugs need to see them through the year, with two test flights expected to run from Canberra and Wellington as plans for the trans-Tasman travel bubble push ahead.

Set to run on July 1 and 2 the plan would be for two flights on both days, ideally run by Qantas and Air New Zealand, with the goal to establish regular flights between the two capitals and other routes soon after.

Australian Chamber Tourism chair John Hart said in a statement, “The symbolic route will show we have developed a safe and effective method of air travel and encourage the extension of the aviation networks to other destinations across Australia and New Zealand over time.

“The tourism opportunity for Australia is to tempt more of the 3.1 million New Zealanders that travel overseas to come to Australia this year. Pre-COVID we received around 1.3 million visitors from New Zealand, leaving about 1.8 million holidays up for grabs.

“Furthermore, we need to begin to restore consumer confidence that travel can be safe in a COVID-19 environment and elevate freight opportunities between the two countries.

“The positive impact on our economy would be staggering.”

With both Canberra and Wellington been COVID-19 free for several weeks now, it was a logical first step to reinvigorate international air travel and the regional economy.

As part of the travel plan, there is no requirement for post-travel quarantine in either city, however, passengers’ health will be checked before they’re allowed to board and incoming NZ travellers will be encouraged to download the Australian government’s COVIDSafe app.

It is also proposed that passengers will be able to travel from Wellington throughout New Zealand and that travellers arriving in Canberra will be able to travel to NSW and Victoria and any other Australian state that has reopened its borders.

Keen travellers can register their interest for travel to New Zealand through Canberra Airport here.

This article originally appeared in Forte.