'We've missed you': Emotional scenes in Sydney as Kiwis touch down

Friends greet each other at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport after the first flight from New...
Friends greet each other at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport after the first flight from New Zealand arrived today. Photo: Getty Images
Travellers on the first commercial flights from New Zealand in seven months have landed in Sydney today - in the first phase of a transtasman travel bubble.

There were emotional scenes at Sydney International Airport as friends and families were finally reunited after the bubble opened overnight.

Passengers on board the first flight touched down at midday.

They were greeted with signs that read "we've missed you" and "welcome back" as they made their way through the terminal.

There were hugs, kisses and tears as those stuck on either side of the Tasman came together after seven months apart, after both nations closed their borders in March to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

A passenger wearing a facemask walks through the airport's international arrivals area. Photo: Getty
A passenger wearing a facemask walks through the airport's international arrivals area. Photo: Getty
Travellers on the flights are not required to quarantine in Sydney, but the arrangements are not yet reciprocal: New Zealand requires arrivals to be in managed isolation for 14 days, at a cost of $3200.

Newstalk ZB's Khalia Strong was at Auckland Airport this morning, where passengers were arriving to board the first flight.

She said there was a flurry of activity at the international terminal, and people excited to be returning home or seeing family for the first time in many months.

Airport staff were also remarking to each other about how good it is to see people back in the international terminal.

Nearly all of those booked on the first flight due to leave mid-morning had one-way tickets. Around 200 people were expected to board the flight.

Passengers were being warned if they wanted to interstate beyond New South Wales they would need to ensure they had checked state and territory travel restrictions and had the appropriate exemptions or approvals to travel, as these continue to change.

Australian Health Minister Brad Hazzard said all passengers arriving from New Zealand would be kept separate from other arrivals in the airport.

A woman hugs her loved one after arriving in Sydney on the first flight. Photo: Getty
A woman hugs her loved one after arriving in Sydney on the first flight. Photo: Getty
Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran said in order for the airline to continue to carry passengers safely and identify passengers with travel not originating in New Zealand, it had introduced "quarantine" and "quarantine-free" flights.

"The quarantine-free flights will be for travellers originating from New Zealand who are flying from Auckland to Sydney and are not required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.''

Quarantine flights would be open to passengers who do not meet the Safe Travel Zone criteria and would be required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.

 

 

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