MIAMI – The Trans-Tasman travel bubble opened at 23:59 local time and a Qantas (QF) Airbus A330-300 was on approach and lands in Auckland (AKL) just 41 minutes after the travel ban between the two countries was lifted.

A first quarantine exempted flight after travel between the two countries was banned for the past 12 months, the A330 was apparently not a commercial flight as no passengers were on board, just crew members flying for a repositioning flight, as published by Mail Online.

Another flight, operated by a Boeing 737-800 took off from Sidney(SYD) on Sunday evening with destination AKL but FlighRadar24 did not list its final destination.

Jetstar Airbus a320-200 VH-VGV – Photo: Noah Pitkin/Airways

“Massive Monday” Expected

The real mass movement will take place on Monday, April 20, already dubbed “Massive Monday” by Salten News, when at least thirteen flights operated by Air New Zealand (NZ), QF, and Jetstar (JQ) will leave SYD on April 20 early morning starting at 06:15 up to 19:00 local time, heading for AKL, Queenstown (ZQn), Christchurch (CHC), and Wellington (WLG), flight JQ201 being the first quarantine free service to land in New Zealand.

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison commented on the Trans-Tasmanian travel bubble opening by declaring, “the idea on one day that everything just opens, that is not how this will happen, it will be happening cautiously and carefully, working very hard on the medical and health protections in place because I’m not going to put at risk the way that Australians are living today.”

Air New Zealand A320-200 ZK-OAB – Photo: James Kirkland/Airways

Hopes on an early free travel for all received an ice cold shower when health problems, probably linked to the Astra Zeneca vaccine, put worldwide vaccination program at risk and slowed down the rate of people receiving it.

Featured image: Qantas VH-QPD Airbus A330-303. Photo: Noah Pitkin/Airways