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Trans-Tasman bubble gets green light

A quarantine-free two-way travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand will commence early in the New Year. The announcement follows the extension of NZ’s International Airfreight Capacity scheme.

A trans-tasman quarantine-free travel bubble will commence following approval from the New Zealand Cabinet on Tuesday December 14.

In November, Australian Chamber Tourism, the Canberra Business Chamber, Canberra Airport, Wellington Chamber of Commerce and Auckland Business Chamber submitted an updated proposal for a quarantine-free bubble, after initial plans were scrapped due to the Victorian outbreak.

“The Chambers and our partners have been in constant contact with both Governments and corresponding diplomats to open the bubble. The Trans-Tasman route is important for business travel, trade and tourism and will stimulate a great deal of these activities in decline – our proposal spoke to the $70 Million plus a week it will unlock,” Australian Chamber Tourism Chair John Hart said.

“Australians and New Zealanders deserve to be able to travel freely across the Tasman. We have earnt this freedom through our efforts to control the virus and it’s a great way to start 2021 with the strength of the ANZAC tradition.”

The NZ Government has also extended the International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) scheme until March 2021 to keep critical freight and exports flowing, Transport Minister Michael Wood  announced a day prior on Monday December 13.

Michael Wood said the Government moved swiftly to keep New Zealand connected to the world with the COVID-19 aviation support package in March.

“The scheme has helped airfreight return to 90 per cent of pre-COVID levels. This means we can keep getting time critical freight like medicines into New Zealand and enable our exporters to get their goods to international markets,” Michael said.

The Minister also said that new agreements have been reached with Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines and Malaysia Airlines to deliver airfreight capacity to key international markets. The Ministry of Transport is also negotiating with a number of other carriers and further announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

The Government has extended the International Airfreight Capacity (IAFC) scheme until March 2021 to keep critical freight and exports flowing, Transport Minister Michael Wood announced today.

Michael Wood said the Government moved swiftly to keep New Zealand connected to the world with the COVID-19 aviation support package in March.

“The scheme has helped airfreight return to 90 per cent of pre-COVID levels. This means we can keep getting time critical freight like medicines into New Zealand and enable our exporters to get their goods to international markets.

“Having these international flights continuing means we can also keep bringing Kiwis home and get critical workers into New Zealand to support our economic recovery.

“New agreements have been reached with Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines and Malaysia Airlines to deliver airfreight capacity to key international markets. The Ministry of Transport is also negotiating with a number of other carriers and further announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

“Normally airlines rely on a mix of passenger and air freight revenue to make international flights viable. Unfortunately the pandemic has almost completely eliminated revenue from international passenger services,” he said.

“That’s why we have agreed to provide targeted funding for international airfreight flights to make sure they can run.”

Funding from the aviation relief package also supports local transport operators to provide essential connectivity to regions and remote communities.

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