Tourism and Transport Forum Australia (TTF) is working towards “sorting out the trans-Tasman issue” by calling for a single border management process between both Australia and New Zealand.
The deregulation of trans-Tasman aviation in Nov-1996 enabled airlines to expand flights greatly between the two markets, and gave Australian and New Zealand-based carriers unlimited access to routes within both countries.
But derestriction of airline operations and the subsequent surge in traveller numbers ‘across the ditch’ has not been supported by streamlined border processing, with passengers still required to queue for passport scanning at both ends of the short journey, and submit to quarantine checks on arrival.
TTF CEO Margy Osmond believes the next step in Australian and New Zealand aviation involves removing artificial and unnecessary barriers between the two countries.
The Blue Swan Daily recently caught up with the TTF CEO to discuss the issue, on the sidelines of the 2017 CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation and Corporate Travel Summit:
“We think travellers should have a much better experience and it should be ‘domestic like’ and we think that is possible through preclearance and on demand luggage”.
TTF is not the only organisation to lobby for change to the Australia and New Zealand border controls, with the Qantas CEO Alan Joyce previously quoted as saying: “Improvements have to be made on seamless travel to/from Australia’s largest tourism source market, New Zealand, which would result in cost savings, lower airfares and a better passenger experience”. Mr Joyce continued, saying that for Qantas it would “improve our efficiency dramatically”, from an infrastructure perspective, as it would allow the carrier to use domestic terminals.
Qantas Airways Group Executive Government, Industry and International Affairs Andrew Parker, speaking at the CAPA Australia Pacific Aviation & Corporate Travel Summit, said that fares on the Tasman were “probably the most competitive they have ever been”. However, he lamented the unnecessary costs and charges, such as the recently increased departure tax in New Zealand and Australia’s Passenger Movement Charge, which means it is a “far clunkier border than it needs to be, given our relationship between our two countries”. He urged for “far greater simplicity of movement between the two nations to have a sustainable business model between the two nations”.
For more details about TTF’s upcoming research and events, visit www.ttf.org.au