Trans-Tasman bubble opening brings return of plane engine noise to Auckland suburbs

Residents of Aotearoa's main centres will be noticing the return of a once familiar sound as the roaring engines of aircraft fly travellers to and from Australia for the first time in more than a year.

Around 400 quarantine-free passenger flights per week will arrive and depart Auckland Airport on trans-Tasman routes operated by Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Qantas between April 19 and the end of the month, compared to just 36 flights to and from Australia in the first week of April.

Pre-COVID-19, the sound of airliners flying over the city was so frequent there were campaigns to have the noise completely silenced by changing the flight paths.

Fast-forward to mid-lockdown and the sound of just one aircraft taking off from Auckland after picking up hundreds of stranded Germans not only had people rushing to their windows or gardens, but the noise it made as it cruised its way across the pitch black sky brought some people to tears.

Perhaps the sound was a reminder of just how much things had changed.

Now on day one of the travel bubble some of that noise is back. Not all of it, as the borders are only open to Australia, but certainly enough for it to be noticeable.

The first flight from Sydney is due to touchdown just before midday, that will be followed by another twenty departures or arrivals from Australia at Auckland Airport before day one of the Tasman bubble ends.

Follow LIVE updates throughout the day as the Tasman travel bubble opens.