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International flights return to Hobart after 12 months

written by Adam Thorn | July 7, 2022

An Air New Zealand Airbus A320 (Rob Finlayson)

International flights have returned to Hobart for the first time since July last year. 

The Air New Zealand A320-200, C82834 msn 09207, departed Auckland at 9:41 am as flight NZ197 and landed in the Tasmanian capital at 11:05 am.

It marks the first of two weekly services between the two capitals that will now operate.

Direct flights between Auckland and Hobart only restarted for the first time in a generation in April last year, following an investment from federal and state governments.

The service was halted months later due to lockdowns across Australia and then New Zealand.


New Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell said, “Australians are spending more time and money on holidays in Tasmania.

“This domestic tourism is important, and the return of international flights and visitors is the crucial next step in the recovery of the state’s tourism sector from the impacts of the pandemic.”

To mark the latest restart, the new Labor federal government reiterated its pre-election promise to upgrade Hobart Airport further so it can service heavier, long-haul aircraft.

The new funding will support the next phase of Hobart Airport’s upgrades after phase one — which lengthened the runway by 500 metres — was completed in 2017. Phase one was completed with the assistance of a $38 million grant from the federal government.

Phase two, which will strengthen the newly lengthened runway to allow for sustained use by heavier, widebody aircraft, is expected to cost $80 million.

Together, the upgrades will see Hobart Airport upgraded to a Code E class airport, meaning it will soon be capable of regularly handling Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Airbus A330s, and A350-100s.

Tasmania is currently the only state in the country that does not have a Code E runway, and it’s hoped the upgrades will support more than 1,200 jobs in Hobart alone.

Transport Minister Catherine King said, “Airports are essential infrastructure that create jobs and grow opportunities.

“By helping reopen direct international flights and by investing in upgrading and strengthening the runway, the Australian Government is partnering with Hobart Airport to build a better future for all Tasmanians.”

Earlier this week, Australian Aviation reported how international travellers entering Australia would no longer be required to be vaccinated, but will still be required to wear a mask on inbound flights.

Minister for Health, Mark Butler, said the decision to lift the requirement from Wednesday was based on advice from the country’s chief medical officer.

The outgoing rule led to a diplomatic incident earlier this year when tennis player Novak Djokovic was allowed into the country to play in the Australian Open before being effectively deported a week later.

“The Australian Government makes decisions on COVID-related issues after considering the latest medical advice,” said Minister Butler.

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