Air New Zealand suspends flights to Australia over new COVID-19 border restrictions

Air New Zealand suspends flights to Australia over new COVID-19 border restrictions.
Photo credit: Air NZ

Following the Australian government's reintroduction of border restrictions, Air New Zealand has suspended trans-Tasman flights until at least next week.

Enforced quarantines for New Zealanders travelling into New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland were announced following the latest COVID-19 outbreak in Auckland.

From Thursday, people arriving into the Australian states who had travelled through Auckland were given the option of either paying for a hotel quarantine period, or getting on a flight back to Aotearoa.

Air NZ has responded by cancelling several trans-Tasman flights.

"Following the Australian Government's hold on travel for anyone who has been in Auckland in the past 14 days and Queensland's restrictions on quarantine-free flying for those travelling from New Zealand, we have suspended quarantine-free services to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane until Sunday," a spokesperson for the airline said.

"Three Auckland-Sydney, two Auckland-Melbourne and three Auckland-Brisbane quarantine-free services have been cancelled. Customers are being contacted to discuss rebooking options and will be able to opt into credit to rebook at a time that suits them.

"We have also closed off bookings to Sydney and Melbourne until March 6 and Brisbane until March 10 to prevent further disruption for customers. Flights to Australia post these dates are now full which is why there isn't any availability showing until mid-March. We will update our schedule and customers as more information comes to hand.

"We understand this brings another layer of uncertainty for our customers and hope to connect them back to Australia as soon as we can."

Quarantine-free travel for New Zealanders to Australia was introduced amid the COVID-19 pandemic in October, but has since been suspended multiple times due to outbreaks in Aotearoa.