A long-anticipated two-way travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand opened Monday that will let residents of both countries visit the other sans quarantine upon arrival.
As residents fly between the two nations, one could witness long-awaited reunions at Auckland airport with indigenous Maori performers welcoming the arrivals.
Australia and New Zealand had put up strict quarantine requirements for travelers from other countries. The talks of the “Trans-Tasman bubble” between the nations had been in the air for months but faced hiccups due to COVID-19 outbreaks.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Operating Officer Carrie Hurihanganui stated that the carrier saw a boost to 30 flights on Monday holding 5,200 passengers. About 140 weekly flights will operate between New Zealand and Melbourne, which is expected to rise to 180 by the end of May.
Melbourne airport will be offering non-stop flights to New Zealand for the following destinations- Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the milestone would be a win-win for the residents of both countries, boosting the economies while ensuring the safety of people. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern too welcomed new arrivals to her country.