With talks of the Trans-Tasman travel bubble beginning in just a few weeks, Air New Zealand has announced Hobart as its tenth Australian destination.
The airline will be launching a non-stop service between Hobart and Auckland once quarantine-free travel is up and running.
The new service aims to aid the recovery of tourism in both nations once travel resumes.
Its purpose is to attract Kiwis to Tasmania and allow Tasmanians to reach New Zealand cities with ease.
“This route will be a much-needed economic boost for the tourism industry,” Greg Foran, Air New Zealand chief executive officer, said.
“Pre-COVID-19, Tasmania was the largest Australian port unserved by a direct route from New Zealand. In 2019 nearly 57,000 passengers travelled from New Zealand to Tasmania, so we expect this new route to stimulate even greater demand between the two destinations.”
Foran said that the service will operate twice-weekly, on Thursdays and Sundays. These days will “provide the best long weekend options for travellers.”
“We know Tasmanians love to visit New Zealand and this non-stop service to Auckland will make it that much easier to get out into our great outdoors and access our winter playgrounds.”
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The flight time from Tasmania to Auckland will be four hours. From there, Australians can easily transfer to one of the other 19 ports the airline flies to in New Zealand.
“[In Auckland] customers are only a short skip away from the ski fields of the South Island, the vineyards of the central plateau, and the culture and history of Northland.”
Hobart-Auckland route a ‘significant opportunity
Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein says the announcement of the new non-stop flights to Hobart from New Zealand is a significant opportunity for both destinations.
“I am very pleased that this service will enable us to welcome more New Zealanders to our state and encourage them to consider booking their next holiday in Tassie and see what we have to offer,” Gutwein said.
Air New Zealand‘s new Hobart-Auckland service is subject to final contract agreement, and government and regulatory approval.
Once this happens, the airline plans to be flying year-round between Auckland and Hobart using its A320neo fleet.
Tickets will go on sale once quarantine-free travel across the Tasman is available.
Feature image © Air New Zealand