International travel returns at Perth Airport
Perth Airport has welcomed the first Air New Zealand non-stop service from Auckland under the new safe travel arrangements.
NZ175 touched down just before 2.00pm WST and taxied to the recently upgraded Bay 54 at Perth Airport’s Terminal 1.
Passengers who made the journey direct from Auckland were welcomed by a traditional Aboriginal Welcome to Country, and many excited meeters and greeters ready to be united with loved ones after over a year apart.
Perth Airport CEO Kevin Brown has appealed for patience as passengers are still required to undergo Government processes upon arrival at the airport.
“Passengers arriving on international flights must have a completed G2G declaration as well as undergo normal border control processes.
“It’s important that passengers fill out their G2G pass prior to boarding as it will help them to move quickly and efficiently through the terminal on arrival.
“This is a big step for Western Australia’s Covid-19 recovery and it’s essential that we all take the extra time to make sure we’ve got it right.”
“Pre-Covid, tourism was a key economic driver in WA, generating more than 100,000 jobs and injecting $12 billion into the Western Australian economy.
“We know that the introduction of one new international route can add at least $70 million to the economy, and this travel bubble provides a massive opportunity for the Western Australian tourism industry which has had been hit significantly by the virus, Mr Brown said.
“We will be working closely with our airline partner Air New Zealand as passenger numbers increase as demand grows.
The airport team has been working behind the scenes over the past few months in preparation of this travel bubble to ensure the safety of passengers and staff at the airport at all times.
“A critical component of the post-Covid19 recovery for aviation at Perth Airport is the implementation of the ‘Green Zone’ Operational Model, which includes physical and procedural processes to achieve segregation of passenger processing,” Mr Brown said.
This model aims to mitigate, as far as reasonably practicable, the cross contamination of passengers who have travelled from locations deemed a ‘Red Zone’ with ‘Green Zone’ safe passengers and airport staff.
A ‘Green Zone’ has been created to facilitate passengers from ports deemed safe by the Australian Government (currently only to passengers from New Zealand) through the inbound journey to the public Arrivals hall. This includes the separation of ‘Red Zone’ and ‘Green Zone’ Border Control queuing areas/Smart Gate and Baggage Reclaim belts.
Red Zone flights (flights arriving from all other international destinations) would only be able to arrive once a Green Zone flight has completed the arrivals process.
The operational model also includes enhanced cleaning of all touch points with medical grade cleaning products to by specially trained cleaning staff following the processing of a ‘Red Zone’ service.
It is also important to note that wearing a mask by all passengers and staff at Perth Airport remains mandatory.
“Significant planning has been undertaken to mitigate the risks for passengers and staff at Perth Airport and the new operational mode, and we will continue to work with our airline and airport partners as we begin to welcome back international travel,” Mr Brown said.
“Our shared goal is to keep the community safe from COVID-19 and we will work with the WA Government and authorities to ensure our airport processes meet their standards.”
Perth Airport was also the first Australian airport to achieve an international Covid-safe rating from the Airports Council International.
“Our terminals are ready and waiting and the fact we have been given a global tick as a Covid-safe airport is testament to the work our team and our airline partners have done to keep everyone who travels through or works in our terminals safe.
“We’ve got extra touch-free hand sanitisers, additional signage, public announcements and floor markings to promote physical distancing, and enhanced terminal cleaning processes,” he continued.
The Air New Zealand service will initially operate x6/week (except Tuesdays) with a 14:00 arrival PER on weekdays, 13:30 on weekends and departing at 19:45 from Perth.
The aircraft will be a B787-900 with 275 seats, 27 Business class, 33 Premium Economy seats, 215 Economy.
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