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The first quarantine-free flight from Australia has landed in New Zealand, less than an hour after the trans-Tasman bubble officially opened.
The Qantas flight took off from Sydney late Sunday night, and was initially due to land early Monday morning – six minutes after the bubble opened. It touched down in Auckland 41 minutes after the new rules kicked in.
From April 19, Kiwis and Australians are able to travel between the two countries without having to quarantine.
Stuff understands the Qantas flight was repositioning to Auckland and the only passengers on board were crew.
The flight was not listed on Auckland Airport’s arrivals board, but a Qantas A330 was initially listed on Flight Radar 24 as arriving at 12.05am. The border opened six minutes earlier.
Qantas refused to answer any questions about the flight, including who was onboard.
A Qantas 737 (different from the expected A330) was seen leaving Sydney Airport for New Zealand late on Sunday evening. Flight Radar 24, which plotted the flight heading towards the North Island, had no destination listed.
Aircraft can potentially arrive more than 30 minutes early if they have a strong tailwind across the Tasman, but if that happened, the pilots could intentionally slow the plane to ensure they arrive after the border opening. However, if they had a medical emergency on the plane or a mechanical issue, it would need to land as soon as possible.
That could be one of the reasons no passenger flights are scheduled to land overnight, just after the border opens.
Instead, the first quarantine-free passenger flight arriving from Australia is a Jetstar service from Sydney. JQ201 is due to land at 11.20am, where an official welcome is planned at Auckland Airport.
Meet Spud, the new library assistant at Blockhouse Bay Intermediate School.
Easter came early to the school when the bunny appeared in the school gardens a few weeks ago.
Staff tracked down the owner who was moving house and asked if they could take care of the friendly fellow.
Spud is hoppily settling into his new role as the library bunny.
Fire extinguishers are a great investment to keeping your home safe from small fires. Check out tips below!