On April 19, travel between Australia and New Zealand opened up with the start of the long-awaited trans-Tasman bubble. For most of us, this was our first chance to take an overseas holiday following a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions.
With regular flights across the ditch now up and running, we thought it time to update readers with a guide to the best trans-Tasman flights. This article acts as a beginner’s guide to Air New Zealand’s trans-Tasman operations.
Found this guide helpful? Considering booking Air New Zealand flights via our partner link! (thanks for your support!)
In this post:
Air New Zealand Trans-Tasman Routes
Of the three airlines currently operating trans-Tasman flights, Air New Zealand has the widest reach. The carrier operates flights to and from each of New Zealand’s largest four airports.
Below is a detailed table of Air New Zealand’s trans-Tasman flights.
|Route||Start Date||Weekly frequency||Aircraft Type|
|BNE-AKL||19 April||7 to 21||B787 and A321|
|MEL-AKL||19 April||7-20||B787 & A321|
|SYD-AKL||19 April||24-26||B787 & A321|
|SYD-CHC||19 April||6-11||A320 & A321|
Schedule correct at 15 April. Subject to change
Air New Zealand Trans-Tasman Aircraft
The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is a widebody aircraft that operates on select trans-Tasman routes, and is the only Air NZ aircraft type crossing the ditch with business class seating.
Layout 1 (302 seats):
- Business: 18 seats in a 1-1-1 configuration
- Premium Economy: 21 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration
- Economy: 263 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration
Layout 2 (275 seats):
- Business: 27 seats in a 1-1-1 configuration
- Premium Economy: 33 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration
- Economy: 215 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration
Want to know more? Check out our Air New Zealand B777-200 business review on YouTube!
Airbus A320, A320neo & A321neo
Air New Zealand operates several Airbus A320 family aircraft to Australia, specifically the A320, A320neo and A321neo. These narrowbody aircraft are all very similar, with an all-economy 3-3-3 configuration.
- A320: 168 seats
- A320neo: 165 seats
- A321neo: 214 seats
There may be some confusion between the A320 and its ‘neo’ sibling. The ‘neo’ stands for “new engine option” and is essentially an updated model to the previous aircraft. While the dimensions of neo aircraft remain the same as the A320, Airbus has fitted new fuel-efficient features like updated engines and sharklets (wingtips) to the neo variant. From a passengers perspective, the main differences are greater luggage space and reduced cabin noise. So, it goes without saying that the A320neo/A321neo is your best bet if available on your route.
Air New Zealand trans-Tasman seat types
Air New Zealand offers several seat types on trans-Tasman flights, from business to economy and everywhere in between.
Best Ways To Book Air New Zealand Business With Points
We have covered the best methods to redeem frequent flyer points for Air New Zealand flights in a separate article, however, our five favourite programs to do this are as follows.
5) Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles:
- East Coast to NZ: 31,000 miles + $147 taxes
- West Coast to NZ: 31,000 miles + $115 taxes
- East Coast to NZ: 33,000 miles + taxes
- West Coast to NZ: 33,000 miles + taxes
3) United MileagePlus
- East Coast to NZ: 27,500 miles + $147 taxes
- West Coast to NZ: 27,500 miles + $115 taxes
2) Air Canada Aeroplan
- East Coast to NZ: 30,000 miles + $183 taxes
- West Coast to NZ: 45,000 miles + $151 taxes
1) Virgin Atlantic Miles
- East Coast to NZ: 15,000 miles + taxes
- West Coast to NZ: 15,000 miles + taxes
Air New Zealand’s COVID-19 Change/Refund Policy
Air New Zealand will waive any change fees on international flights due to depart before 31 December 2021. This means you can change your flight without paying any fees, although the fare difference will apply if your new flight is more expensive. Alternatively, you can place the value of your booking into credit, which can then be used to book flights by 30 June 2022.
Travellers are not entitled to a refund unless Air New Zealand cancels the flight or you qualify for a compassionate refund.
Find out more on Air New Zealand’s Credit and refund information page.