At 12.01am this morning, the New South Wales border reopened to Victoria after being closed for four-and-a-half months, making for a pretty darn good Monday Morning.
Welcome back, VIC. It has been a while.
But at 12:01 this morning, the NSW-Victoria border reopened. Happy days.
Just before 8:00 this morning, the first flight from Melbourne touched down in Sydney and passengers were greeted with glamourous drag queens, beautiful Bondi lifeguards, and offered donuts celebrating VIC’s zero COVID-19 cases.
Because how else would you want to celebrate?
Open for business
Sydney rolled out the welcome back in spectacular style this morning to passengers and crew arriving on Qantas flights from Melbourne into Sydney Airport.
The welcome message, a collaboration between Destination NSW, Qantas and Sydney Airport, was loud and clear: Sydney and NSW are open for business to all Victorians looking to make a great escape. #lovensw and #ilovesydney
As well as adorable Love Actually scene reenactments seeing families and friends being reunited, Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce said “It’s a great day for a lot of our people, who have been stood down for months. They have been so professional through all this and we’re thrilled to see more of them coming back to work.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday acknowledged how hard the closure had been.
“We never want to see this ever again,” she said.
“This is the last time in our lifetime this border is closed and we know tomorrow morning after midnight it will be a whole new era for both of our states.”
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian
Qantas and Jetstar are today set to help loved ones reunite as the first regular flights between Melbourne and Sydney take off.
The airlines will operate a combined 17 return flights between Sydney and Melbourne today, carrying around 4500 people.
This marks the first time Victorians are able to travel anywhere interstate without quarantine since July, which for thousands of people will mean seeing family after months of being apart.
Qantas will today also start a new route between Sydney and Mildura, which was originally due to start in March, and flights between Sydney and Bendigo will resume in early December.
Jetstar will resume regular flights between Melbourne and Newcastle and Ballina (Byron Bay) this week.
Following the announcement earlier this month that the NSW/VIC border will reopen, more than 25,000 seats were sold in the first 48 hours. Jetstar’s recent ‘Return for Free’ sale also saw huge demand from Victorians in particular, with the three most popular routes being out of Melbourne.
“After a very tough year for a lot of people, this is a big milestone in Australia opening back up. It’s going to be a really emotional day for a lot of our passengers. We’re going to see the kind of reunions normally reserved for long haul international flights rather than two cities that are only an hour apart.”
Alan Joyce, Qantas Group CEO
Virgin Australia also annouced that today is a day to be celebrated. The airline is seeing some strong uptake on flights between Melbourne and Sydney and expect this to continue as we move closer to Christmas.
Virgin Australia know many Australians are excited to reunite with their loved-ones and we remain hopeful that borders will continue to safely re-open and more Australians return to the skies in time for Christmas.
From today, Virgin Australia will operate four return services per day (28 per week) between Melbourne-Sydney (both ways) and progressively increase frequencies ahead of the holidays.
Customers from Victoria will also be able to connect to regional NSW destinations such as Ballina Byron and Coffs Harbour.
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