Revealed: How much you can expect to spend on airfares when borders reopen

After months of uncertainty, Kiwis overseas finally appear to have a light at the end of the tunnel - or in this case, an aircraft at the end of the airbridge.

Details of when Aotearoa will reopen its borders were announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi on Thursday morning.

While travellers arriving into New Zealand will still need to isolate at home and test negative for COVID-19, this is the biggest change in our country's border settings since the pandemic began in 2020.

So, how much will it cost?

Using the dates announced today by the Government, Newshub checked airfare prices on and the Air New Zealand website to find out how much Kiwis should expect to pay, should they venture out of Aotearoa when border restrictions ease.

Step 1 - Sunday February 27:

Aotearoa reopens to New Zealanders and other eligible travellers under current border settings (eg: people with border exceptions) from Australia.

Flights between Sydney and Auckland are on sale on the Air NZ website for $705 return for a seat-only airfare.

At this stage, no other airlines are advertising airfares for this route.

Step 2 - Sunday March 13:

Reopen to New Zealanders and other eligible travellers under current border settings from the rest of the world.

As Aotearoa opens to other countries, airfares appear to be very competitive.

Return flights from Auckland to Los Angeles are listed on at $1268 flying Fiji Airways and $1542 on Air New Zealand.

Return flights to London are as cheap as $2031 on Qatar Airways.

Step 4 - July 

Open to anyone from Australia.

New Zealand will open up to anyone from Australia. At this stage the cheapest return flights available are $421 on Jetstar, $629 on Qantas and $635 on Air NZ.

Step 5 - October 

Border fully reopens to visitors from anywhere in the world and all visa categories fully reopen.

According to, there are Auckland-London airfares under $2000 available from numerous airlines including Qatar and Lufthansa (operated by Air NZ). Air NZ, Qatar, Emirates and Singapore Airlines all have return airfares around $2300.

While travellers will no longer need to stay in MIQ, Hipkins confirmed home isolation would be used to reduce the spread of the Omicron virus.

"The self-isolation requirements for travellers will mirror the way we treat contacts of cases in New Zealand. That means a current requirement of 10 days, but that will drop to 7 days when we move to phase two of our pandemic plan as cases rise," Hipkins said.

"Isolation requirements will be kept under constant review, and we do expect them to reduce.  

"All arrivals will be provided three rapid antigen tests at the airport, one for use on day 0/1, and one for use on day 5/6, with one extra for backup. This approach means we will continue to identify cases that enter through the border and limit their wider contact with the community."