Air New Zealand launching quarantine-free flights to Brisbane on January 7

Starting Thursday, people will be able to fly with Air New Zealand from Aotearoa to Brisbane and not have to quarantine on arrival.

The announcement comes after Queensland's Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced in December the state was reopening its borders to Kiwis following them being shut due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, New Zealanders wanting to holiday in Queensland have to remember they are still required to quarantine upon arrival back in Aotearoa.

Air NZ's first quarantine-free Auckland-Brisbane flight, NZ147, will depart at 7:40am on Thursday. Passengers onboard must complete an Australia Travel Declaration form stating they have been in New Zealand for the preceding 14 days.

Customers who plan to then travel beyond Queensland will need to ensure they have checked state and territory travel restrictions and have the appropriate exemptions and approvals to do so.

And not every flight to Brisbane will be a quarantine-free one.

"We currently operate five return flights per week between Auckland and Brisbane - three of these services will be quarantine-free flights, while the remaining two will be quarantine flights. Quarantine flights are not able to be booked by people beginning their journey in New Zealand," says Air NZ's Leanne Geraghty.

"Our teams have been working closely with authorities in Australia to ensure all agencies are satisfied processes are in place to confidently accept quarantine-free flights, and we thank customers for their patience while we've worked with various agencies in Australia to ensure we can keep everyone safe."

When Palaszczuk announced Queensland's borders opening, she noted the state is home to more New Zealanders than any other state in Australia.

"We are hoping that eventually New Zealand will not have to do that hotel quarantine upon return, and then there would be free-flowing movement between the two," she said.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in December that a countrywide travel bubble could be in place with Australia from the first quarter of 2021 - but surges of coronavirus cases in the nation since then have likely decreased the likelihood.