Surprise! Air New Zealand has today loaded a schedule of bookable trans-Tasman fares into its online system for travel from Australian cities from April 19 onwards.
New Zealand’s national carrier is planning to restart a regular quarantine-free trans-Tasman schedule again from April 19.
While this exciting update, of course, is still subject to final approval from the New Zealand government border wise, return fares are now bookable across all of Air New Zealand’s seat classes flying from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, The Gold Coast, Perth, Cairns and Adelaide.
And we’re getting closer to the green light for take-off now, with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announcing today that April 6 will be the day when the official start date for the two-way arrangement is confirmed.
That’s only two weeks away. Could this be a clue that flights will take off soon after around April 19?
Given we’ve just ticked over a year since the Australian and New Zealand international borders closed, demand for friends and family to re-unite on both sides will undoubtedly bring an immediate rush on seats to all routes.
Add on corporate travellers and a throng of Aussie explorers itching to get over the ditch and not surprisingly, there are no super sharp fares to be had just yet out of Australia.
Return fares to Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Queenstown worth at least AU$1000 return for an economy seat only.
Here’s what we found after a quick search across www.airnewzealand.com.au
- Sydney – Auckland flying daily from $630 one-way from Saturday 17th April.
- Sydney – Queenstown flying daily from $760 one-way from Monday 19th April.
- Melbourne – Auckland flying daily from $652 one-way from Saturday 17th April.
- Brisbane – Auckland flying daily from $630 one-way from Monday 19th April.
- Gold Coast – Auckland flying daily from $580 one-way from Monday 19th April.
- Perth – Auckland flying daily from $926 one-way from Monday 19th April.
- Cairns – Auckland flying three times a week from $750 one-way from Tuesday 20th April.
- Adelaide – Auckland flying four times a week from $683 one-way from Tuesday 20th April.
The new Auckland to Hobart route announced by Air New Zealand last week has not made it into the system yet, but fingers crossed it will not be far away either.
It’s worth noting too that Qantas and Jetstar have no updated schedules loaded yet on their websites at the time of writing.
What about COVID-safe travel?
All existing travel credits are now valid to book new flights until 30 June 2022 for travel until 30 June 2023. Air New Zealand have also extended credit opt-in and fee-free changes for NZ domestic and international flights due to depart before 30 June 2021.
While there are no details of the formal quarantine-free process, Air New Zealand’s website still carries a COVID-19 Travel regulation section including saying: “All passengers will need to register for managed isolation accommodation prior to flying to New Zealand.”
As well as: “Inbound passengers into New Zealand may need to provide a negative COVID-19 test.”
However, it also states that “Once fully operational the trans-Tasman travel bubble will allow unrestricted travel between Australia and New Zealand borders.”
Not long now, fellow travellers.
Find out more: www.airnewzealand.com.au
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