Air New Zealand says yesterday (Apr 6) was a record sales day for flights across the Tasman, with tens of thousands of Kiwis and Aussies booking flights across the ditch in the hours after the bubble announcement.

The carrier says April is shaping up to be the airline’s busiest month since the pandemic so far, with flights from Auckland-Sydney, Auckland-Brisbane and Christchurch-Melbourne on 19 April selling out fast.

Air New Zealand says bookings for May are coming in at a close second. 

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Greg Foran, says he is thrilled the airline can play a part in reuniting friends and whānau across the Tasman.

Air New Zealand flew direct seasonal services to the Sunshine Coast prior to the pandemic.

“Auckland-Sydney was our most popular route yesterday, seeing the largest growth in bookings to date,” he says.

“We expect this is a mixture of friends and family making up for a year of missed milestones, and business travellers keen to get moving again.

“While a lot of Kiwis are heading across the ditch, there have been really strong bookings for Australians coming to check out New Zealand. Queenstown will see an influx of Aussies in July and September and we expect to see a bigger boost around the country for the July school holidays. It’s promising to be a busy ski season for the mountains.

Air New Zealand was the launch customer of the B787-9 Dreamliner from Boeing.

“We’ve certainly been looking forward to this moment for a few months now, so to finally have the bubble open is terrific. This will be a great boost for the New Zealand economy and tourism sector,” he says.

The significant boost in Trans-Tasman capacity comes a few weeks after the carrier announced its newest route in the form of a twice-weekly direct service between Auckland and Hobart.

Qantas also placed hundreds of flights across the Tasman on sale yesterday and announced the launch of two new routes, Auckland-Gold Coast and Cairns-Auckland.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management