Gold Coast Airport welcomes first NZ flight as travel bubble opens

A mother embraces her daughter upon her arrival from New Zealand at Sydney International Airport

Before the pandemic, around 20% of traffic between the countries was comprised of global tourists from places such as the United States and China, Joyce said.

A testing and quarantine free travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand launched with lopsided demand, according to airlines and data firms, with an unusually high number of the travellers departing from Australia. "So happy'", she said.

Trish Stamoulos, about to head to New Zealand from Sydney Airport, told the Seven Network that her daughter, who is only 16, had been in New Zealand for over a year.

With quarantine-free travel now beginning between New Zealand and Australia, the Ministry of Health urged travellers to download the Covid tracer app.

Travelers who lined up at Sydney and Melbourne airports early on Monday said they were excited or relieved to finally fly to New Zealand after more than a year. But they have kept their borders closed to the rest of the world, in principle only allowing citizens and permanent residents to enter following a 14-day mandatory quarantine in a hotel.

The infected worker, who was fully vaccinated for the virus, had been cleaning airplanes coming from countries with known virus outbreaks, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce described today as "an fantastic day" with the airline bringing 630 employees back to work for the 16 flights departing Australia today.

A woman hugs her daughter and grand-daughter at Sydney International Airport
A woman hugs her daughter and grand-daughter at Sydney International Airport Credit Jenny Evans /Getty Images AsiaPac

Australia is home to hundreds of thousands of expatriate New Zealanders and before coronavirus many regularly shuttled back and forth across the Tasman on three-hour flights.

Ashish Jha provides insight on 'Fox News Live'.

Qantas Airways Ltd Chief Executive Alan Joyce said last week that demand from the New Zealand end had been sluggish relative to that from Australia, though he expected it would pick up within a few months.

"I think this is going to be very important for the tourism and travel industry on both sides of the Tasman, as well the very practical issues of families being able to reconnect".

There was also one historical case of Covid-19 to report since yesterday - a recent returnee who had recovered.

There are no other new cases in managed isolation or in the community announced today.

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