For 23 years now, the Australian state of Tasmania has been effectively excluded from international air traffic, as there have been no direct connections to Hobart Airport – this should change at the end of April.
Despite extensive runway renovations and extensions at Hobart Airport, there have been no scheduled connections between Tasmania and international airports in other countries for many years. Air New Zealand wants to change this issue from April and offer flights between Auckland and Hobart starting at the end of the month. However, a prerequisite for implementation is approval of the planned travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand, such as simpleflying.com mentioned.
Hobart has been waiting for international airlines for a long time
There have been no scheduled flights to Tasmania Airport in Hobart since 1998. Accordingly, travel to Tasmania has not been possible for several decades without change in Sydney or Melbourne. To counter this problem, development of the airport in Hobart continued. In the past few years, the airport has tried to attract the attention of world airlines with various innovations and restorations, but to no avail. Despite a comprehensive modernization of the terminals and runway extensions, the international terminal has remained virtually empty.
From the end of April 2021, Air New Zealand would like to start regular flights between Auckland and Hobart. Currently, the airline plans to fly the approximately three-hour route every Thursday and Sunday with the A320neo. However, a prerequisite for this airline is New Zealand government approval of the planned travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand. So far, Air New Zealand assumes government approval of the planned travel bubble and is preparing for the new route to be added to the road network. This means that the airline will link Tasmania with international air traffic again for about 23 years.
The introduction of this new international service to Tasmania is great news for our community and our tourism industry as it will bring more visitors to our shores who are keen to spend, as well as open new areas for Tasmanians who want to travel..
Peter Gottwin, Prime Minister of Tasmania
Great benefits of tourism in Tasmania
The Tasmanian government sees the route between Auckland and Hobart as a great advantage, both for Tasmanian tourism and for locals. The reason for this is expectations that the new airline will connect nearly 540,000 tourists between Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city, and Tasmania’s capital, Hobart.
A new flight connection at the local airport in Hobart also provides benefits for locals. For Tasmanian tourists, the smaller airport in Auckland is more suitable as a transit airport for long-range communications compared to the larger international airports in Sydney or Melbourne. Getting to popular destinations in Fiji, Hawaii or the Cook Islands will also be easier with the addition of the new airline. According to previous data, Air New Zealand is optimistic about introducing connectivity between Auckland and Hobart and is already planning a third weekly scheduled flight for that connection.
Conclusion on the new scheduled flight path to Hobart
The planned start of Air New Zealand’s scheduled flight service on the Auckland – Hobart route provides optimistic prospects for the future development of Hobart Airport and all tourism in Tasmania. However, a prerequisite for successful admission must be approval of a long-planned travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia. If you are allowed to travel to New Zealand or Australia again, it will be easier to travel to Tasmania in the future.