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QAN - Qantas Airways News Story

A$4.77 0.0  0.6%

Last Trade - 07/05/21

Sector
Industrials
Size
Large Cap
Market Cap £5.04bn
Enterprise Value £8.48bn
Revenue £3.87bn
Position in Universe 63rd / 1907

UPDATE 1-Families reunite as Australia-New Zealand 'travel bubble' begins

Mon 19th April, 2021 2:28am
(Adds details of flights, Australian visitors in NZ, COVID-19
numbers; amends slug to HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS/AUSTRALIA-NEWZEALAND
from /NEWZEALAND-AUSTRALIA)
    By Renju Jose
    SYDNEY, April 19 (Reuters) - Hundreds of passengers from
Australia began arriving in New Zealand airports on Monday after
authorities reopened borders, a pandemic milestone that allows
quarantine-free travel between the countries for the first time
in over a year.
    Though most Australian states have allowed quarantine-free
visits from New Zealand residents since late last year, New
Zealand had enforced isolation for arrivals from its neighbour,
citing concerns about sporadic virus outbreaks there.
    Television footage showed emotional scenes at the airports
with families reuniting and scores of passengers thronging the
international departure terminals at Australian airports.
    "It is the first time in 400 days that people can travel
quarantine-free and we are adding 16 return flights a day to New
Zealand, and they are full," Qantas  QAN.AX  Chief Executive
Alan Joyce told the Australian Broadcasting Corp on Monday. 
    Qantas will ramp up flights between the countries to about
200 each week, while Air New Zealand  AIR.NZ  said it had
quadrupled its flights to 30 on Monday, with its airplanes
flying into New Zealand 97% full.
    The open border will help drive the economic recovery for
both countries and reunite thousands with families and friends,
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand's
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a joint statement.
    "It is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with
Australia. Be it returning family, friends or holiday-makers,
New Zealand says, 'Welcome and enjoy yourself,'" Ardern said.
    About 1.5 million Australians visited New Zealand in 2019,
the year before the pandemic closed international borders,
making up about 40% of all visitors, spending NZ$2.7 billion 
($1.93 billion) in the country, official data showed. 
    More than half a million New Zealand-born people live in
Australia, just over 2% of Australia's population of near 26
million.    
    Both Australia and New Zealand had largely closed their
borders to non-citizens and permanent residents more than a year
ago, helping to keep their COVID-19 numbers relatively low
compared with several other developed countries.
    Other international arrivals into both countries must go
through a two-week hotel quarantine at their own expense.
    Australia has recorded just over 29,500 virus cases and 910
deaths since the pandemic began, while New Zealand has had just
over 2,200 confirmed cases and 26 deaths.
    Morrison and Ardern warned travellers to prepare for
disruptions to travel arrangements at short notice in the event
of COVID-19 outbreaks, and said the risks of quarantine-free
travel will be under "constant review". 
    Both leaders also flagged the possibility of extending
quarantine-free travel to other countries in the Pacific region
when "it is safe to do so."
        
($1 = 1.4023 New Zealand dollars)

 (Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Karishma Singh and Gerry
Doyle)
 ((renju.jose@thomsonreuters.com; +61 29171 7126;))
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