A travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand is now underway after both countries had success in containing coronavirus.
People are allowed to cross the Tasman provided they don’t have symptoms and aren’t waiting on a test.
The first direct flight from across in the ditch in more than 20 years lands in Hobart on Thursday morning after Air New Zealand announced a twice-weekly service between Tasmania's capital and Auckland.
Finishing touches are being applied to the $20 million upgrades at the terminal.
“In a bonus for domestic travellers, the new areas will be able to be used for domestic flights when international arrivals aren’t scheduled," Hobart Airport CEO Norris Carter said.
“This will result in more capacity for both domestic arrivals and departures, increasing space and reducing wait times as the airport continues to rebuild activity levels following COVID."
“We will work hard to make sure our processes and systems are fine-tuned and up to speed so that both domestic and international visitors will have the best possible experience when they arrive and we’re hopeful it won’t take long to bed down the new processes that we need to make international flights a seamless part of airport activities. We know that our visitors from New Zealand will have the time of their lives and as the gateway to Tasmania, we want to ensure that outstanding experience starts the moment they arrive.”
Kiwis have been able to travel to Australia since late last year, but the New Zealand government hasn’t allowed Aussies in until now.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was there to see off the first Jetstar flight from Sydney airport to New Zealand this morning.
"We have 630 people that weren't working before this bubble that are working now. So that's great news for them. That's why you've got such excitement. People getting their first international trip, people working again for the first time in a long time, getting back into the airport," he told Sky News.