World Media

Thumbs-up from across the ditch for Aus-NZ 'travel bubble'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern during the All of Government Covid-19 update media conference at Parliament on Day 33 of the Covid-19 coronavirus lockdown. 27 April 2020

Mr Morrison said for weeks the pair had been discussing the re-opening of travel between the countries.

Ardern also said she has accepted an invitation from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to attend Australia's emergency coronavirus cabinet on Tuesday, where she would discuss creation of a "travel bubble" between the two countries.

"There are significant advantages to New Zealand in terms of a trans-Tasman bubble not only [in terms of] domestic tourism, but equally we have a flow of people traveling between both countries, for business purposes, trade and so on", reported Sydney based ABC news quoting Ardern.

"We know that unfortunately worldwide travel is a mid - to long-term vision, so if we can establish a hub between New Zealand and Australia I think that would be a very positive move", Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney before joining the meeting of Australia's emergency cabinet.

Professor Kevin Markwell, Professor of Tourism at Australia's Southern Cross University, tells Executive Traveller that "both countries have put in place measures that appear to be working at reducing COVID-19 infections and could get to a stage where it was considered by medical authorities safe to begin travel".

"The opening of global flights across the Tasman will be a significant step in helping to kick-start both economies, not just from tourism". There are about 75,000 Australians in New Zealand and more than half a million Kiwis in Australia.

Rules on social distancing have been eased slightly in New Zealand and in some Australian states and territories but restrictions on large gatherings and non-essential travel remain.

Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace says there's a "pent-up demand" for travel between Australia and New Zealand that's ready to be unbottled.

"We're also Australia's largest export market by number of exporting the case for increasing economic relations when safe is clear".

"I do think we should both be proud of the efforts that have been made".

Auckland Airport's boss says exploring options for a trans-Tasman bubble is critical.

"It could be a very good model for the global market opening up in phases", the chief of Australia's largest airline told reporters.

Qantas is now operating only 5% of its pre-crisis domestic passenger network and 1% of its worldwide network.