18 Mar 2021

A possible re-start to trans-Tasman travel is good news for Christchurch Airport, which says it has been ready for such a 'bubble' since last October.

Chief Aeronautical and Commercial Officer Justin Watson says the airport’s processes are all 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.

“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,'' Mr Watson says.

The airport’s frontline staff have been vaccinated and are looking forward to safely welcoming international travellers again.

Mr Watson says international airlines Qantas, Air New Zealand, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, Emirates and Singapore Airlines have continued to operate into Christchurch across the Tasman 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,'' he says. “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.