First flights take off as trans-Tasman travel bubble begins

The highly anticipated trans-Tasman travel bubble has opened with the first flights taking off this morning.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the start of the trans-Tasman bubble was a “win-win” for both nations.

“Both countries have done a remarkable job in protecting our communities from COVID and two-way flights are an important step in our road out,” he said.

The new travel corridor has ignited hopes that organisers on both sides of the Tasman can begin to hold events beyond their domestic borders for the first time in over a year.

“The opening of quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand is hugely positive for business events,” said Bjoern Spreitzer, Tourism New Zealand’s general manager domestic & business events.

“Meeting in person allows for greater engagement and productivity and builds important relationships. We can’t wait to welcome Australians back to New Zealand.”

The Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre has welcomed the the new quarantine-free travel bubble ahead of its opening later this year.

“Despite border closures and uncertainty, working closely with our Australian clients and peers has remained a key focus for us,” said Te Pae Christchurch general manager Ross Steele.

“Over the past several months we have reinforced our commitment to the Australian market, appointing an in-market Business Development Manager, Heidi Heming to represent Te Pae Christchurch, and continuing to support industry activity wherever possible.

“We, like many in our industry, have looked forward to this announcement and we believe it will provide our Australian clients with the confidence they need to plan ahead.

“With a number of Australasian conferences already booked and trans-Tasman travel now back on the table, we look forward to reconnecting with clients and friends when welcoming them to Ōtautahi Christchurch and Te Pae Christchurch once we open later this year.”

Passengers on the “green zone” flights will be required to download a tracer app while in New Zealand and must not have tested positive to Covid, be showing signs of symptoms or be waiting for Covid test results for the last 14 days.