After more than a year of international border closures, Qantas and Jetstar will today resume regular flights between Australia and New Zealand with the opening of the two-way trans-Tasman bubble.
Flights are resuming to all pre-COVID destinations in New Zealand across 15 routes and Qantas will today start a new route between the Gold Coast and Auckland, marking the airline’s first ever international flights from Gold Coast Airport.
The airlines will operate a combined 29 flights between Australia and New Zealand today, carrying thousands of customers, with around 200 flights to operate each week.
Jetstar’s first departure is JQ201 from Sydney to Auckland at 6.15am will operate with its Airbus A320 aircraft while Qantas’ first departure out of Sydney is QF143 to Auckland at 9.05am with its Airbus A330 aircraft. Both flights are operating to 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 departing 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. 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,” said Mr Joyce.
“The opening of the two-way bubble is fantastic for the family and friends who are reuniting after so long apart and for the many jobs which are so heavily dependent on tourism. It means we’ll be able to get more planes back in the sky and more of our people back to work.
“New Zealand was Australia’s second biggest source of international visitors before the pandemic. Today, it’s about to go straight to number one.
“We’ve seen strong demand since the bubble was announced, with tens of thousands of bookings made in the first few days. We’ve also added more flights to Queenstown to meet expected demand during the peak ski season.”
Qantas is also today welcoming visitors to its re-opened award-winning First lounges in Sydney and Melbourne as well as its International Lounge in Brisbane. Platinum One, Platinum and Gold frequent flyers along with Business customers and Qantas Club members flying on the Tasman will be invited to visit these two First lounges until the airline’s other international lounges reopen.
Qantas Frequent Flyer made all seats across Qantas and Jetstar available for booking as Classic Flight Rewards for the first three days of Tasman bubble flights, as well as making 50 per cent more Classic Reward seats available on Qantas’ Tasman flights for the remainder of 2021. This has seen 25 per cent of seats sold as frequent flyer redemptions.
Qantas’ “Fly Flexible” policy offers customers who book flights before 31 July 2021 added flexibility with unlimited fee free date changes when travelling before 28 February 2022. Jetstar offers the option of purchasing FareCredit on bookings which allow passengers to cancel flights for any reason.