Postpone any glimmer of hope you have of a cheeky trip to the land of sheep and hobbits because according to the CEO of Air New Zealand, that whole idea of a trans-Tasman travel bubble won’t be happening until at least March next year.
After months of politicians and business leaders promising that an open border with New Zealand was just around the corner, the airline’s boss Greg Foran has come to the conclusion that it’s actually a long way off.
“I certainly do not believe we will see anything across the Tasman this calendar year,” he told the The Age.
“It’s hard to believe it would be before March next year and could well be longer. If it comes back quicker, we’re going to pop some champagne.”
Back in June, New Zealand claimed to have eliminated the virus was finally able to leave lockdown. Australia also seemed to be on the verge of squashing the virus, hence why the idea of a trans-Tasman bubble came into existence.
But then more cases started to pop up again in NZ, and over in Australia, Victoria even had a second wave, putting travel hopes on the backburner.
Foran actually started the job back in February, right when all this shit really hit the fan.
“I never got to experience Air New Zealand in anything but a crisis,” he added.
The border closure is personal for him, too, because he’s got three kids and seven grandkids over here in Aus.
The future, he reckons, will have a lot more restrictions on flying. That could include COVID-19 tests before and after flights, increased tracking of passengers, and possibly even travel passes for people who have antibodies.
That might work a few years down the line, but for now, it means there’s not going to be any New Zealand getaways over the summer.Image: Getty Images / NurPhoto