Following the announcement of the eight-week Australian bubble suspension, Air New Zealand announced five “Managed Return” flights from NSW for next week. All of these sold out within hours.
The requirement of passengers from NSW to quarantine meant that Sydney flights were more dependent on space out of MIQ.
“Unfortunately those are relatively limited and have been for some time.”
MIQ told the Herald that it was unlikely that further rooms would come online in the short to medium term due to high demand, but would be releasing vouchers for December once all inbound flight schedules were finalised.
Foran said he was aware of the dissatisfaction and difficulties that New Zealanders had been experiencing trying to get MIQ spaces. However, they were not the only airline, and Australia was not the only destination Kiwis were trying to fly back from.
“It’s a process that the Government manage and controls and we do our best to make sure that as soon as those are available we line up to get people back.”
Following price fluctuations ahead of today’s announcement, flights out of quarantine-free states such as Queensland were costing up to $910 for entry economy seats.
Foran said that prices for flights over the next week would be capped, during the return window.
The pause of New South Wales during the school holidays and subsequent unravelling of the bubble meant that the number of Australians in New Zealand were relatively low.
Domestic flights would be largely unaffected by the rush to return from New Zealand.
The domestic network continues to perform very well. We’re about to close out the school holiday period here in New Zealand and it’s been really robust.
The next three days are set to be big dates for the airline at home.
“We are continuously reviewing the amount of capacity we have domestically and have been making changes around New Zealand holiday destinations.”
It was too early to say if the 2 month suspension would need to be extended or raised early, however Foran said they would be back in Australia and beyond.
“I’m sure we will get further in the South Pacific but it’s not going to happen overnight. We need to get these vaccinations complete and that will give us an opportunity to start growing again.”
He thanked the eight and a half airline workers “who continue to step up and do their best and deal with change”.
Travellers booked on to Air New Zealand flights visit airnewzealand.com/covid19-international-trave
For the latest information on requirements for returning from Australia visit: