'Ready for months': Christchurch Airport eager for trans-Tasman travel bubble

Christchurch Airport. Photo: Getty Images
Christchurch Airport. Photo: Getty Images
Christchurch Airport says it is ready for a two-way transtasman bubble which could be in place next month.

The airport welcomed news today of a possible re-start to transtasman travel and said it had been safe and ready for such a bubble since last October.

Chief aeronautical and commercial officer Justin Watson said the airport’s processes are in place, have been approved by government agencies, and offer a safe environment.

"We have been ready and safe for months to welcome both travellers and partner airlines who travel the Tasman, with others waiting to come here from further afield," Watson said.

Chief aeronautical and commercial officer Justin Watson. Photo: File
Chief aeronautical and commercial officer Justin Watson. Photo: File
"Safety is a top priority for us and we have made changes to allow for separate processing of red and green flights based on schedule separation and cleaning.

"We have also begun construction to physically split the international arrivals area into two distinct pathways to allow simultaneous operations, because we anticipate red and green flights will required for some time."

Watson said the airport’s frontline staff have been vaccinated and are looking forward to welcoming international travellers again.

He said Qantas, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Emirates and Singapore Airlines have continued to operate flights into Christchurch during the pandemic, taking high-value South Island produce to international markets.

"Like us, the South Island tourism industry is eager to welcome Australians back.

"We used to see almost 1.4 million passengers a year on the Tasman and welcomed up to 32 of those aircraft movements a day.

"Our place in the world has always been hugely attractive to Australians, and will become even more attractive when our new facilities such as Te Pae and the cruise facility are completed."

Christchurch Airport is 75 per cent owned by Christchurch City Holdings Limited – the commercial arm of Christchurch City Council. The Crown owns the other 25 per cent of the company.

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