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Air NZ CEO calls imminent trans-Tasman bubble opening 'day one of our revival'

Next week's restoration of pre-Covid travel between Australia and New Zealand has been labelled "Monumental Monday" as airlines, airports and travellers gear up for the trans-Tasman bubble.

Source: 1 NEWS

"It's day one of our revival," Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran said.

Air New Zealand is running 30 flights across the Tasman on Monday, carrying over 5000 people.

Qantas has scheduled 25 flights, with another four from Jetstar, following the New Zealand government's lifting of quarantine restrictions for Australian travellers.

Virgin Australia has opted against resuming trans-Tasman travel for the next five months, citing the uncertainty of future Covid outbreaks that will mean flight cancellations on short notice.

For Air New Zealand, the chance to return to the skies for their most important international routes is a blessed relief.

Greg Foran. Source: 1 NEWS

The national carrier has operated a largely domestic network for the past year, laying off thousands of workers as it adjusted to life in a pandemic.

Last week it announced an extension of a loan facility with the NZ government to $NZ1.5 billion and a deferring of a planned capital raising program.

Mr Foran, who joined Air NZ in February last year on the eve of border closures, is eyeing Monday as a reset.

"The accumulation of the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble and the start of the Kiwi school holidays has created a real sense of momentum and energy," the American said.

Air New Zealand's 30 flights on Monday will scale up to more than 300 a week within three months.

Trans-Tasman bubble: 'Tens of thousands' due to fly on first day of quarantine-free travel

That includes a new Auckland-Hobart route, returning international flights to Tasmania for the first time in almost three decades.

Auckland and Wellington Airports are throwing welcoming parties for their first trans-Tasman arrivals on Monday.

The first quarantine-free flight to land in Aotearoa will be a Jetstar service from Sydney, landing before lunchtime in Auckland.

The restoration of flights has an unfortunate consequence for some Kiwis.

'So excited' – Auckland Airport staff fizzing with trans-Tasman bubble opening imminent

The beginning of quarantine-free, or "green zone", flights from Australia has led to the end of quarantine "red zone" flights across the Tasman.

That means Kiwis further abroad have fewer options to get home, need to transit through Doha, Dubai or Singapore or get special approval to complete quarantine in Australia.

A NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson told news outlet Stuff the government was working with Australian counterparts "to find a possible solution".