Quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Cook Islands resumes

Air New Zealand aircraft.
Tourism makes up 75 percent of the Cook Islands GDP. Photo credit: Air New Zealand

Quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands is resuming from today after being paused due to the Delta outbreak of COVID-19 in Aotearoa.

Flight NZ946 departed Auckland at 8.45am bound for Rarotonga with holidaymakers giving a much-needed boost to the Cook Islands economy where tourism makes up 75 percent of GDP.

The travel bubble reopening also means families can reunite and workers who left for New Zealand can return. 

Anyone travelling to the Cook Islands must be fully vaccinated and provide a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of departure.

Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer David Morgan says the airline has seen strong bookings during January, and those onboard will be experiencing something a little different.

"For our customers travelling between 20 - 23 January, we’re trialling our new Economy Works and Works Deluxe breakfast offerings. Customers can expect some tasty delights like fresh pastries, vegetarian frittatas and breakfast wraps all served in sustainable bagasse serviceware," Morgan said.

The airline says in 2019, almost 110,000 New Zealanders headed to Rarotonga and that Kiwis comprise two-thirds of all visitors to the Cook Islands.

Air NZ is offering a daily service between Auckland and Rarotonga. And will continue to monitor demand and adjust the schedule where possible.