Queensland’s Brisbane Airport (BNE) in Australia has welcomed the first ‘safe travel zone’ flight, dubbed ‘quarantine-free’, from New Zealand.

A quarantine-free or safe travel zone flight allows passengers to skip the 14-day hotel quarantine period on arrival.

Passengers were on board Air New Zealand flight NZ147, which departed Auckland at 7:40am local time for Brisbane.

Brisbane Airport Corporation CEO Gert-Jan de Graaff welcomed the development and said that it will help in the restoration of the international aviation movement in the region.

Graaff said: “It is important to recognise the efforts of the state and federal governments, relevant agencies, Air New Zealand and the Brisbane Airport team for making this flight happen.

“While only a one-way ‘bubble’, we nonetheless expect these flights will bring families back together and support economic activity between New Zealand and our state.

“We look forward to the resumption of two-way travel between our countries soon and will work closely with all relevant bodies to ensure we are ready to go when that happens.”

He also expressed confidence and said that these safe travel zone flights will run effectively and offer a blueprint for corresponding arrangements with other nations in the future.

With more than 100 flights per week, nearly 1.5 million passengers flew between BNE and New Zealand in 2019.

Air New Zealand will run five return flights per week between Brisbane and Auckland, out of which three will be quarantine-free flights.

Future flights from New Zealand will take place on 9, 11, 13 and 17 January.