Trans-Tasman holidays restart in both directions from today – and flights between the Gold Coast and Auckland have taken off in response to the lifting of restrictions. Jetstar’s Gold Coast-Auckland service is commencing for the first time in more than eight months, as the New Zealand Government rolls out the welcome mat to vaccinated Australians traveling across the ditch. There are now six flights per week between the Gold Coast and Auckland. The airline will operate the return service three times per week on A320 aircraft, providing about 58,000 additional passenger seats between Auckland and the Gold Coast and northern NSW region. Queensland Airports Limited Chief Commercial Officer Adam Rowe said Jetstar’s Auckland service was one of Gold Coast Airport’s best performing international services prior to COVID-19 impacts, and numbers were rebuilding quickly. “The first inbound and outbound flights are full and we are seeing strong passenger loads on the Gold Coast-Auckland services overall,” he said. “We saw travel confidence increase reasonably quickly on domestic services and now we are seeing it rebuilding well on the trans-Tasman. “The New Zealand market is traditionally one of the strongest for the Gold Coast and before COVID-19, more than half a million people travelled between the two destinations annually.”Jetstar joins Air New Zealand on the route, which recommenced three-times-weekly flights on 2 March. Mr Rowe said more connections between the Gold Coast and New Zealand would be re-established soon, with flights to Wellington, Queenstown and Christchurch scheduled in coming months. Travellers entering New Zealand from today will require a New Zealand Traveller Declaration, proof of vaccination, and proof of a negative pre-departure PCR or rapid antigen test. Passengers travelling over the Easter holiday period are asked to plan ahead, be patient, allow plenty of time and continue COVID-19 safe practices, with the busiest day expected on Easter Monday.