Auckland Airport ready to welcome back the world

With two years of border restrictions coming to an end, Auckland Airport is celebrating the return of international and quarantine-free travel back to New Zealand.

Auckland Airport ready to welcome back the world

Auckland Airport (AKL) is celebrating the return of international quarantine-free travel to New Zealand following the announcement that two years of border restrictions would be coming to an end.

Auckland Airport Chief Executive, Carrie Hurihanganui noted she was delighted the international terminal at Auckland Airport would soon be filled with travellers from around the world eager to visit New Zealand and emotional scenes of friends and family reuniting after years apart, without the need to isolate on arrival.

“This is a huge moment for international travellers who for the first time in over 700 days will soon be able to grab their passport and jump on a plane to do business in New Zealand or have a holiday here rather than just dreaming about it.

“It’s also an incredibly important moment for all of us at Auckland Airport following two years of virtually no international passengers. Allowing eligible travellers to cross freely into New Zealand marks a huge step in our recovery and that of the tourism industry, with everyone now able to look forward again with growing confidence.

“I’d like to recognise the amazing team at Auckland Airport who have worked for New Zealand throughout every stage of this pandemic, protecting our border and keeping our country connected. We are grateful for the work they have done alongside government agencies and health workers in challenging circumstances to get us where we are today,” commented Hurihanganui. 

There are currently 13 airlines flying to 25 destinations from New Zealand, down from 29 airlines connecting to 43 international destinations pre-pandemic. Overall, international traveller numbers at Auckland Airport have fallen over 90 per cent to 2,900 per day from 30,000 per day before the outbreak of COVID-19.

She said: “While the reopening of New Zealand’s border won’t be a big bang and we think it will take time for passenger flows to recover, we are very optimistic about the future.

“This announcement provides the certainty international airlines have been telling us they are looking for, allowing them to plan their flight schedules in advance, start selling tickets and ramp up operations.

“We are ready to welcome travellers back and we’ll be looking to ramp up our operation as demand returns.”

Australia was New Zealand’s largest source of travellers prior to the pandemic, with 4.6 million passengers each year or 12,500 per day pre-pandemic. Currently, there are 1,700 daily passengers across the Tasman and two airlines flying (Air New Zealand and Qantas) with LATAM flights available from the end of March 2022.

Auckland Airport is excited to welcome back travellers from Australia. With the reopening of quarantine-free travel from 13 April 2022 and the upcoming school holidays, we know there will be demand from those wanting to grab a flight and reunite with friends and family across the Tasman,” added Hurihanganui. 

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