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Covid impact: One-way flights to Australia show battle to open global aviation

Bloomberg October 16 | Updated on October 16, 2020 Published on October 16, 2020

Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (file photo)   -  Reuters

New Zealanders can visit New South Wales state without having to quarantine on arrival

The first quarantine-free flights to Australia from New Zealand touch down Friday, a one-way corridor that underlines the difficulty of restarting broad international travel.

From today, New Zealanders can visit New South Wales state, home to Sydney, without having to quarantine on arrival. But those flying back to New Zealand still need to undertake mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days, and pay for it themselves.

There’s less than 1% chance of catching Covid-19 flying, says airline exec

The restrictions for those returning from Australia reflect the resurgence of Covid-19 in pockets of the country, most notably in Victoria state, which has spent months bringing a Melbourne outbreak to heel. New Zealand, in contrast, has crushed community transmission of the virus.

Domestic aviation comes together during Covid

Hobbled by flare-ups

While Singapore and Hong Kong said yesterday they’ll open their borders to one another, efforts worldwide to establish corridors have been hobbled by coronavirus flare-ups, and the travel clampdowns that are required to slow the spread of infection.

Given the quarantine requirements in New Zealand, there’s little demand for return flights. About 90 per cent of passengers on the Air New Zealand Ltd flight that lands shortly after midday in Sydney on Friday are travelling one way, the airline said.

Passengers travelling from New Zealand must declare they have been in New Zealand for the preceding 14 days. Health screening will also take place on arrival in Sydney, Air New Zealand said.

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Published on October 16, 2020
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