Trans-Tasman bubble: Air New Zealand and Qantas trade barbs on social media

The exchange signals the beginning of a months-long battle for the Tasman.
The exchange signals the beginning of a months-long battle for the Tasman. Photo credit: Getty

The rivalry between Air New Zealand and Qantas has begun as each airline ramps up their Tasman schedules as the travel bubble opens.

Rather than passengers, Aotearoa's national airline gifted Qantas a pavlova complete with a note reminding the Aussies that Aotearoa is the true home of the oversized meringue dessert.

"It's been a while since we spotted a kangaroo flying over Aotearoa!" the message, signed by Air NZ CEO Greg Foran, began.

"We're certainly looking forward to passing you in the sky again soon. Please accept our pavlova as a heartfelt Kiwiana gift from across the ditch."

Of course, you can't talk about trans-Tasman rivalry without mentioning rugby, so the note finished off with a dig at the Wallabies.

"We tried to send the Bledisloe Cup but they wouldn't let us." 

Qantas replied via Twitter, claiming another of New Zealand's best exports as Australian.

"Some of Australia's finest is headed your way (sadly @CrowdedHouseHQ couldn't fit in the overhead locker)," the airline tweeted with a photo of a mysterious gift box.

Who knows, perhaps there's a certain cricket ball from 1981 inside.

The two airlines will be competing for bums on seats when two-way quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand kicks off on April 19. On Tuesday, Qantas announced it would be flying up to 122 weekly services across the Tasman, matching if not beating the number of flights being added by Air NZ.