Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia will commence on Monday, 1 November for fully-vaccinated passengers.
Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said the one-way bubble would require travellers to show proof of a negative PCR COVID test three days prior to departure.
The deal would not apply in reverse, meaning Kiwis returning home will still have to book into the country’s MIQ hotel quarantine system.
“Tourism Australia will look to scale up its marketing activities in New Zealand, with an immediate focus on building confidence and broadening knowledge of the depth of Australia’s tourism offering,” said Minister Tehan.
“The resumption of quarantine free travel from New Zealand to Australia is another important marker on our road to recovery and it will encourage more Australians to dust off their passport and plan their next holiday.”
The announcement from the Australian federal government will put pressure on New Zealand to once again make the rules reciprocal. In 2019, Australia hosted 1.434 million visitors from New Zealand – making it the country’s second-largest source market, with Kiwis spending $1.6 billion in the Australian economy.
A two-way, quarantine-free travel between the two countries started in April this year, but was halted to all of Australia in late July for two months after much of Australia entered lockdown.
New Zealand’s COVID-19 Response Minister, Chris Hipkins, in September played down a quick end to the travel ban, which was due to expire later that month.
On Monday, 1 November, the ban on Australians leaving the country will expire and fully-vaccinated citizens and permanent residents will be able to return without quarantine.
From 1 November, Qantas will operate up to five return flights a week from Sydney to London, via Darwin, and up to four return flights a week from Sydney to Los Angeles with its Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Flights to London will operate via Darwin until at least April 2022.
The first flight, QF1, will depart at 6:30pm.
The airline also announced it would bring forward its planned return to flights from Australia to Singapore, Fiji, Johannesburg, Phuket and Bangkok, as well as introduce a brand new direct route between Sydney and Delhi.
The airline’s new route from Sydney to Delhi will begin on 6 December 2021, with three planned return flights per week on its Airbus A330 aircraft, with capacity expected to build to daily flights on this route by the end of the year – subject to regulatory approvals from Indian authorities.
Flights from Sydney to Delhi will involve one layover in Darwin, while the Delhi to Sydney leg will be nonstop.
The new route has been introduced to cater to the nearly 700,000 Indian migrants living in Australia, as well as their parents, who will soon be allowed to apply for an exemption to enter Australia as non-residents.
The route will continue until at least late March 2022, however, this could become a permanent part of Qantas’ international network, should demand require.
The airline will also begin flying Sydney to Singapore from 23 November, four weeks earlier than planned. Initially this service will be three times per week on A330 aircraft, which will ramp up to daily from 18 December.
Jetstar will also begin flying from both Melbourne and Darwin to Singapore from 16 December.
Qantas has also stated flights from Sydney to Fiji will be brought forward to 7 December 2021, 12 days earlier than previously announced. It will begin flying four return flights per week on a Boeing 737.
Meanwhile, Jetstar will resume flights to Fiji from 17 December.
Qantas will perform three return flights per week from Sydney to Johannesburg from 5 January 2022, three months earlier than scheduled on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner, as well as five return flights per week to Bangkok on its A330s from 14 January 2022, two months ahead of schedule.
The airline will also return to Phuket on 12 January 2022, over two months earlier than planned, and perform three return flights per week on its Dreamliner.
The airline will also return 10 of its 12 Airbus A380s ahead of schedule and is in discussions with Boeing to accelerate the delivery of three brand new 787 Dreamliners.