Qantas and Jetstar will operate 83 percent of their pre-COVID capacity to New Zealand when the two-way trans-Tasman bubble kicks off Nov. April

The airline group also announced that it will be launching two new routes from Auckland to Cairns and the Gold Coast and restarting all traditional routes between the two countries

It comes after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Tuesday afternoon that the bubble would start immediately but could be halted on short notice, causing Virgin to suspend most routes by Jan. October no longer fly

The Qantas Group announced that it has up to 122 round-trip flights per week across the Tasman on 15 routes, or 52During the current one-way arrangement, capacity was only 3 percent prior to COVID

A new daily service from the Gold Coast to Auckland also kicks off with the opening of the bubble, marking Qantas’ first international flights from Queensland Airport

Just in time for the long weekend in June, a second new route, Cairns-Auckland, launches three days a week, with flights initially operating for nine weeks through the end of July, and Qantas said more flights may be added beyond this period depending on demand could

Andrew David, Qantas CEO at home and abroad, said, “We know that Australians want to go overseas again We therefore anticipate strong demand for flights to New Zealand and there are many Kiwis who cannot wait to escape for the winter warmer weather in Australia ”

Qantas’ new schedule includes year-round direct flights to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown, as well as direct flights from Brisbane and Melbourne to Queenstown, which normally only operate seasonally for the peak ski season

Jetstar will initially fly its A320 from Melbourne, Gold Coast and Sydney to Auckland Both airlines connect the New Zealand Jetstar domestic network with more than 120 round-trip flights per week to five destinations. The low-cost airline will resume flights on the remaining routes before COVID from the middle of the year

Qantas has also expanded its travel credit policy so that customers who fly before December 31st If you book before July 28, 2021 you can make unlimited toll-free date changes Traveling February 2022 Jetstar is offering the option to purchase “FareCredit” which allows passengers to cancel flights for any reason

The news comes despite Virgin Australia’s surprising announcement that most of its New Zealand routes will not open until Jan. It was followed by PM Ardern, who warned passengers traveling to Australia to “plan the possibility of a trip interruption” if a COVID outbreak occurs

“For example, if a case is found that is clearly linked to a border guard in a quarantine facility and is well contained, you will likely see travel continue just as you could see life go on if this were to happen happens here in Australia, ”said Prime Minister Ardern

“However, if a case were found that was not clearly linked to the border and a state responded with a brief lockdown for more information, we would likely pause flights from that state in the same way as we do would stop Travel in and out of a region in New Zealand as if it were completely closed

“And if we saw multiple cases of unknown origin, we would likely suspend flights for a set period of time”

In October 2020, a one-way travel bubble was opened for the first time, allowing kiwis to enter Australia without quarantine, but not the other way around

Both countries stated that it would be reciprocal in the first quarter of 2021 However, the move has been postponed due to numerous small COVID outbreaks in both countries

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World News – AU – Qantas operates 83% of pre-COVID capacity in New Zealand