Australian MIQ spots sell out in three minutes, with some flights only having 10 seats available

Air New Zealand's quarantine flights to Australia sold out within three minutes of going on sale on Monday morning, the airline says. 

The company was allocated a very limited number of managed isolation spaces to return customers home to Australia, according to Chief Customer and Sales Officer Leanne Geraghty.

"Because of the MIQ constraints in Australia, we were only allocated a total of 385 seats to Perth, Brisbane and Melbourne between September 25 and October 30. On some flights, as little as 10 seats were available," says Geraghty.

"Despite this, we are committed to helping people get home. It's an incredibly unfortunate situation for many people who are either stuck here in New Zealand or in Australia and our heart really does go out to those customers who weren't able to secure a spot."

Newshub has been contacted by numerous people stuck on this side of the Tasman, some have been left without jobs or income while they wait for flights to get home

The airline says it's in constant conversation with Australian authorities around whether any additional allocations will be made available. 

"If more space does open up, customers will be able to book through our website. Our contact centre will unfortunately not be able to book any customers onto these quarantine services, but we do encourage them to keep checking our website for further updates."

The Australian spots went online at the same time as 3000 spots in New Zealand MIQ were made available internationally at 9am.

Air NZ said it observed an initial spike in bookings when the Aotearoa spots went online, but some seats are still available.

"We encourage anyone who has an MIQ spot and hasn't booked a flight yet to do this promptly to avoid missing out."