Air New Zealand is reporting tens of thousands of bookings since the recent announcement of the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble.

Air New Zealand’s website states: “We are excited by the news of two-way quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia starting soon. Our schedules have been updated for quarantine-free travel to begin on 19 April 2021.”

Quarantine-free travel from Australia, starting on 19 April has also been welcomed by New Zealand’s business events industry, including events such as Fine Foods NZ in Auckland. Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) says opening the borders with Australia is essential to ensuring the sector’s economic future.

“Australian clients are telling us they want to meet and do business person-to-person in New Zealand, and we can’t wait to welcome them back,” BEIA Chief Executive, Lisa Hopkins says. “This is a much-deserved relief for our business events industry members who have really battled for the last year,” she says.

The economic value to New Zealand of Australian business event delegates is estimated at $225 million in direct spend per year. (Source: BEAS, BEDP, BEDS 2019, Fresh Info). On average, each Australian delegate spent a total of $1,800 in New Zealand in 2019, averaging four nights in the event region, and another two nights elsewhere within New Zealand.

BEIA has identified $38 million in direct spend from Australian-based conference organisers looking to host an event in New Zealand between mid-2021 and the end of 2022.

Services ramped up

Air New Zealand is among the airlines which have ramped up services to Australia to cater to expected demand.

Air New Zealand says April 6th 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.

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.

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 announced the launch of two new routes, Auckland-Gold Coast and Cairns-Auckland.

Did you know?

Australians typically comprise the biggest chunk of our incoming visitor market, accounting for 39% and spending $2.7 billion in 2019.

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