Wayfarer TV: Air New Zealand’s CEO Foran talks new Australia travel bubble

by James Wilkinson

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says the airline is incredibly excited a new travel bubble with Australia has been put in place from April 19, 2021.

From that date, passengers will not need to quarantine on either side of the Tasman and is the extension of a one-way bubble created from New Zealand inbound to Australia in late-2020.

Foran says Air New Zealand will be ramping up flights between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown and eight of its Australian ports from April 19 and 24,000 bottles will be ready to be served on the flights to celebrate.

“This is terrific news,” he says. “I know Kiwis and Australians have been wanting to reconnect with whānau and friends for a year now and we’re incredibly excited to be playing a part in those reunions.

“I’ll certainly be digging out my passport for the first time since I joined the airline to head across the ditch to see my family and I’m especially looking forward to meeting some of my grandchildren for the first time.”

Foran says the airline has been preparing for a trans-Tasman bubble for a few months now, bringing furloughed crew back onboard and ensuring they are up to speed with training, along with making sure its international airports and lounges are ready for the influx of customers.

“Our people have shown incredible agility of the past 12 months as things have changed at an unbelievable pace,” he says. “I’ve spoken to several our front-line staff who are thrilled to show our customers the world-class Air New Zealand customer service once again.

“We’d like to say a huge thanks to New Zealanders for standing by us while we’ve mainly been a domestic business for the past year.

“I’m extremely proud to say that we’ve got one of the most robust domestic businesses of any airline around the world. We look forward to being able to extend that across the Tasman.

“Pre-COVID-19, Australia was the largest tourism market for both our airline and New Zealand. We know a lot of tourism operators have been feeling the lack of international visitors so we’re looking forward to playing a role in New Zealand’s recovery.

“Using the strength of our domestic network we’ll be able to connect Australians with more destinations around the country.

“With the rest of the world still out of reach, New Zealand offers landscapes and experiences that are up there with the world’s best attractions,” Foran says.

Air New Zealand trans-Tasman flights are on sale now.