Air Bubble Linking Ski Fields of Australia & New Zealand
1st June 2020
Last modified on May 14th, 2021
Both countries are allowing their ski resorts to open later this month. It will be primarily aimed at locals but if deemed safe an air link would be established that could make a big different to the ski resorts, especially in New Zealand.
Australia and New Zealand have widely been judged to have done superbly in battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Australia had 7,193 confirmed cases of covid-19 with 103 deaths.
New Zealand had 22 fatalities and 1,154 confirmed cases.
There are now 21 hospital cases in Australia and New Zealand claims it has beaten the virus altogether.
Ski resorts are preparing to open in Australia, Ski season set to get underway in Australia.
And in New Zealand too, New Zealand ski areas step up winter preparations.
One of the key measures in keeping the virus at bay is judged to be the widespread and swift closure of international borders.
Now talks are underway to see if some form of safe Air Bubble, can be introduced.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has pledged to “consider” the establishment of a safe travel zone in July as part of the government’s third and final step on the “Roadmap to a Covid-safe Australia”.
The New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is “very keen to make it happen as soon as we safely can.”
In New Zealand some ski resorts said they may operate at a loss this year without international skiers, but an Air Bubble from Australia could change that.
For some NZ ski areas the Australians make up 40% of their market.
“The bubble would be a game-changer,” said Paul Anderson from NZ Ski to local media.
NZ Ski operates The Remarkables and Coronet Peak near Queenstown and Mt Hutt near Christchurch.
Some of the smaller ski areas in New Zealand are not so reliant on international tourism.
Mt Dobson near Canterbury says it well-placed to open to the domestic market and may even attract new visitors as other sports remain on hold.
“Canterbury is pretty well-placed because we do have a large domestic population that are used to getting in their car and driving to local ski fields,” said the Mt Dobson business and marketing manager, Mike Smith.
“We would be much better placed than somewhere like Queenstown for example which has a much higher proportion of international visitors.”
The two countries are in talks that would allow flights between the two to resume before other International flights would be possible.
It will involve testing + tracking with no quarantine measures necessary.
A draft blueprint is being drawn up and will be presented to the two governments early in June.
The detail will be interesting not least to see if it may be applied to parts of Europe, in the summer and perhaps beyond.
The UK government is also planning to operate ‘air bridges’ with certain countries though no further details have been released.
It will mean holidaymakers returning from participating destinations will be exempt from a 14-day quarantine rule.