Travel bubble: Air New Zealand says flights to Australia 'almost sold out'

There's good news for tourism operators in New Zealand too.
There's good news for tourism operators in New Zealand too. Photo credit: Newshub (File)

Air New Zealand is celebrating a "record sales day" sales following the trans-Tasman travel bubble announcement, with tens of thousands of Kiwis and Aussies booking flights across the ditch in the past 24 hours.

The airline says seats on its Auckland-Sydney, Auckland-Brisbane and Christchurch-Melbourne services in April have almost sold out, with May likely to follow suit soon.

On Wednesday Air NZ's CEO Greg Foran said he was "thrilled". 

"Auckland-Sydney was our most popular route yesterday, seeing the largest growth in bookings to date. We expect this is a mixture of friends and family making up for a year of missed milestones, and business travellers keen to get moving again."

There are positive signs for tourism operators in New Zealand too, with 'several thousand' bookings made by Australians heading to Queenstown, especially for travel dates during July and September.

"We've certainly been looking forward to this moment for a few months now, so to finally have the bubble open is terrific. This will be a great boost for the New Zealand economy and tourism sector," Foran said.

An airfare comparison carried out by Newshub Travel found the cheapest airfare overall for the first week of the July school holidays is a seat-only airfare on Air NZ between Christchurch and Melbourne costing $569, while the most expensive was a $799 return Qantas airfare between Christchurch and Sydney.

However, on other services in the comparison, Qantas and Jetstar offered cheaper prices than Air NZ.

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