Hundreds of flights to NZ go on sale following travel bubble announcement

Airlines have been quick off the mark following the announcement of a two-way trans-Tasman bubble between Australia and New Zealand.

Right now, passengers headed to New Zealand are forced to quarantine so there are just a handful of flights traversing the Tasman.

However, the likes of Qantas, Air New Zealand and Jetstar are planning to add scores of extra flights to the schedules from the day the bubble begins, on April 19.

The carriers are even adding a few new destinations in anticipation of a boom in travel between the two nations.

But Virgin Australia will not join the fray and has no plans to start NZ flights for the next few months at least.

“This is an exciting day,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday.

“The trans-Tasman travel bubble represents the start of a new chapter in our COVID response and recovery, one that people have worked so hard for. That makes New Zealand and Australia relatively unique.

“This is an important step forward in our COVID response and represents an arrangement I do not believe we have seen in any other part of the world,” she added.

Air New Zealand has so far given the fullest detail on its new schedule. But all the major airlines have given some idea about how they will react to the bubble.

Here’s all the information you need to know about airlines flying across the ditch.

RELATED: All your trans-Tasman travel bubble questions answered

Air New Zealand will link eight cities in Australia to New Zealand. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Air New Zealand

The Kiwi carrier has said it will load 24,000 bottles of bubbly on the first quarantine free flights between Australia and New Zealand to celebrate the travel bubble.

Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown will be linked to eight Australian airports, including flights between New Zealand and Hobart for the first time.

Sydney will be the biggest beneficiary going from two flights per week to around 50.

Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran, himself an Australian, said it was “terrific news” the border was reopening.

“I know Kiwis and Australians have been wanting to reconnect with whanau (family) and friends for a year now and we’re incredibly excited to be playing a part in those reunions.

“I’ll certainly be digging out my passport for the first time since I joined the airline to head across the ditch to see my family and I’m especially looking forward to meeting some of my grandchildren for the first time.”

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