First Australia-bound flight from NZ since travel bubble opened departs Wellington

The first flight to Australia from New Zealand since quarantine-free travel opened between the countries has taken off from Wellington Airport this morning.

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The Air New Zealand flight left Wellington Airport carrying 105 passengers. Source: Breakfast

The Air New Zealand flight departed for Sydney shortly after 6am carrying 105 passengers.

The flight will be the first of many, with Qantas, Jetstar and Air New Zealand saying they were expecting to fly about 10,000 people on trans-Tasman routes today.

The first flight carrying passengers from Australia is expected to land in Auckland Airport at 11.20am.

It comes after a Qantas flight carrying only crew landed in Auckland minutes after the trans-Tasman travel bubble started overnight.

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Thousands of people are expected to travel between New Zealand and Australia. Source: Breakfast

In a joint statement by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the pair said the bubble “reflects the sustained efforts to date of both countries in managing the virus”.

“Today’s milestone is a win-win for Australians and New Zealanders, boosting our economies while keeping our people safe and just in time for Anzac Day,” Morrison said.

“Both countries have done a remarkable job in protecting our communities from Covid and two-way flights are an important step in our road out.”

Ardern said today was “truly exciting”.

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1 NEWS Australia correspondent Andrew Macfarlane says first day of the trans-Tasman bubble feels “surreal”. Source: Breakfast

“Be it returning family, friends or holiday makers, New Zealand says welcome and enjoy yourself,” she said.

The Prime Ministers said they would be looking to extend quarantine-free travel to other countries in the Pacific.