What you need to know about the first 'Safe Travel Zone' flight from New Zealand to Australia

Travellers will need to pay for quarantine if they return to Aotearoa.
Travellers will need to pay for quarantine if they return to Aotearoa. Photo credit: Getty/Newshub

Air New Zealand will operate its first flight as part of the Safe Travel Zone with New South Wales tomorrow.

The Australian government's new travel zone system means passengers travelling from New Zealand will be able to travel to New South Wales without the requirement for quarantine on arrival in Australia. 

Passengers travelling from New Zealand 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. 

Air NZ's Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says in order for the airline to continue to carry passengers safely and identify passengers with travel not originating in New Zealand, it will run both 'quarantine' and 'quarantine-free' flights.

Quarantine-free flights:

  • For travellers originating from New Zealand who are flying from Auckland to Sydney and are not required to quarantine on arrival in Australia. 

Quarantine flights:

  • Open to passengers who do not meet the Safe Travel Zone criteria and will be required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.

"Flight NZ103 tomorrow will depart Auckland at 10:40am and will be a quarantine-free flight. It is expected to arrive in Sydney around 12:20pm local time," says Foran. 

"It's been a huge undertaking to ensure we are ready for this one-way arrangement. We know passengers onboard may have been waiting a long time to get back to New South Wales. Around 90 percent of those travelling on tomorrow's flight are booked to travel one-way." 

Air New Zealand is currently operating eight return flights between Auckland and Sydney per week and will look to operate two quarantine flights per week, while the remaining flights will be quarantine-free. 

In the next week, the airline will operate quarantine flights on October17, 22 and 24, while all other flights will be quarantine-free. 

On October 22 the airline will operate both a quarantine-free and a quarantine flight. The airline is working through flights from 25 October. 

Other flights departing Auckland for Sydney include:

  • Jetstar JQ 204 at 12:00 
  • Qantas QF146 departs at 16:15

Passengers planning to travel interstate beyond New South Wales will need to ensure they have checked state and territory travel restrictions and have the appropriate exemptions/approvals to travel. 

The Safe Travel Zone implemented by the Australian government is a one-way arrangement, and those returning to New Zealand will still need to quarantine for 14 days upon return at their own cost.

Passengers will need to provide payment for quarantine and register their managed isolation accommodation requirements via the New Zealand Government's Managed Isolation and Quarantine website.