Travel and airline stocks ended Tuesday’s ASX session on the up after New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement that Australians will be free to enter NZ from April 18 without quarantining.
Qantas and its Jetstar offshoot said they would be flying 150 services a week when the bubble starts, but Virgin Australia won’t be flying across the Tasman until much later tin the year.
It says it will be working with its partner, Air New Zealand to offer travel to Australians and Kiwis.
Air New Zealand led the way with shares 8% higher to $1.70 – a rise that will improve the finances of the looming recapitalisation with the Kiwi government keeping its role as the cornerstone investor.
Qantas shares rose 3% to $5.26, Webjet shares jumped more than 4% to $5.53, Flight Centre shares added 4.3% to $18.67 and Sydney Airport Holdings were up2.8% to $6.24.
The rules will come into effect at 11.59pm Wellington time (9.59pm AEST) on April 18.
Ms Ardern said specific flights into Australia could still be suspended if there were local Covid outbreaks.
Media reports on Tuesday evening said that in the wake of the NZ announcement, air fares costs slumped.
Qantas was offering limited return flights to Auckland at more than $1,100. Now its increased that to several flights a day, with prices dropping to about $670 return for flights in late April.
Air New Zealand is offering flights for about $580 return from Sydney to Auckland. It also announced a substantial increase in flights starting on April 19, with between one and three daily flights between Melbourne and Auckland, and between three and five flights per day from Sydney to Auckland.
In addition, the airline will resume direct flights to Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Qantas meanwhile says it will operate up to 122 return flights a week on the Tasman across 15 routes starting in April 19 – the equivalent of 83% of its pre-COVID capacity.
Virgin Australia will not resume flights to New Zealand until October 31, with the exception of a small number of services to Queenstown from September 18.