Ardern said if demand had not been met, more flights would be revealed.
Quarantine-free travel has been suspended from 11.59pm tonight and the bubble will be closed for at least the next eight weeks.
The Herald is seeking comment from Air New Zealand. A spokesperson could not immediately get say whether or not flights had sold out.
Meanwhile, 74-year-old Julie Bird – who has been stuck in Sydney with her 80-year-old husband Jeffery since June 21 – has been left with questions after Ardern’s recent announcement appeared to conflict with advice on the Covid-19 website.
Ardern confirmed Kiwis would need proof of a negative pre-departure test, which cost about $160, to travel on managed return flights from Australia.
However, on the Unite Against Covid-19 website, it said such tests were not required.
“As a returnee on a managed return flight from NSW, you do not need to provide a negative pre-departure test result,” the website read.
A regular visitor to the website, Bird said the conflicting information was very confusing.
“We’re finding it very frustrating because we’re spending so much time either on the phone or on the website to make sure we’ve got the right information.
“I would expect that it would appear on the website updated immediately because there’s an awful lot of people relying on the advice and when you check it and it’s not updated, its very confusing for travellers.”
The Birds had had three flights cancelled during their time across the ditch, until they finally confirmed their seats aboard a flight on Wednesday.
However, Bird wasn’t counting her chickens just yet – given the number of cancellations that had scuppered plans to return home to Nelson.
Advice for Kiwis in Australia
Travellers from Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Western Australia, ACT and Norfolk Island:
Can come home on a green flight subject to the below public health criteria:
• A negative pre-departure test, taken within 72-hours of their intended travel to New Zealand.
• Have not been in a location of interest in the past 14 days.
• Are not symptomatic at the time of travel.
• Are not a contact of a Covid-19 case.
Eligible people from Victoria or travellers from other states/territories who have been in Victoria can return provided they also:
• Adhere to lockdown measures in Victoria.
• Self-isolate upon return to New Zealand and get a test at day 3.
• Travel to the airport wearing facemasks and by safe travel, ie, not public transport.
Eligible people from New South Wales will continue to return on existing managed return flights. Returnees on these flights will be required to enter a managed isolation facility for at least 14 days on arrival in New Zealand.
Travel on all such flights will be limited to:
• New Zealand citizens and holders of residence class visas.
• Holders of temporary visas and Australian citizens, who last departed New Zealand after April 5, 2021.
• Holders of current permanent residence visas (including a resident return visa) issued by the Government of Australia who last departed New Zealand after April 5, 2021; and relevant family members of people listed in the above categories. (Relevant family member means: a spouse, civil union partner, or de facto partner, a dependent child; or a parent of a dependent child. Parent, in relation to a dependent child, means a person on whom the child is dependent).