Jetstar celebrates restarting New Zealand-Australia flights after long break during COVID-19 pandemic

The first Jetstar flight from Aotearoa to Australia in several months took off on Friday as the country reopened its border to New Zealanders.

International travel has been decimated this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Australian government's new travel zone system allows travel from New Zealand to New South Wales without the requirement for quarantine on arrival.

Jetstar's boss is celebrating the restart of travel between New Zealand and Australia - but hopes it's less of a one-way travel bridge and rather a two-way travel bubble soon.

Air New Zealand and Qantas are also operating Auckland to Sydney flights on Friday.

"Today marks an important step in restarting international travel," Jetstar Group CEO Gareth Evans said in a statement to media.

"While it's largely one-way travel at this stage, it's a significant milestone which will reconnect Australia and New Zealand after our trans-Tasman flights were suspended six months ago.

"We hope the borders will open in both directions soon so that a true travel bubble between the two countries can form."

Jetstar says Friday's Auckland-Sydney JQ204, which departed on time at 12pm, is its first international flight since early April.

The low-cost airline will operate three return services between the two cities, while Qantas will operate two.

Air NZ is currently operating eight return flights between Auckland and Sydney per week and said it will look to operate two quarantine flights per week, while the remainder will be quarantine-free.

Jetstar is continuing to use the 'Fly Well' programme it implemented in May, which the airline says means mandatory masks, enhanced cleaning, contactless check-in, onboard with HEPA filters and passengers are given sanitising wipes to use on the plane how they like.

"We are proud and excited to play a role reconnecting our customers with their family and friends and helping Australia and New Zealand recover," says Evans.

"It's also great to have more of our team back in the air, where they love to be."

Passengers travelling from Aotearoa will be required to complete a health declaration stating they have been in New Zealand for at least the past 14 days. Health screening will also take place on arrival in Sydney.