21 days ago

Trans-Tasman bubble: Mysterious first flight from Australia arrives 41 minutes after bubble opens

Caryn Wilkinson Reporter from Community News

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.

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8 minutes ago

Eid in Auckland: 12,000 Muslims to gather at Eden Park to celebrate end of Ramadan

Ripu Bhatia Reporter from Central Leader

More than 12,000 Muslims are expected to gather to mark the end of Ramadan at New Zealand's largest stadium, Eden Park.

Eid, or Eid al Fitr, is one of two religious holidays celebrated by Muslims to mark the end of Ramadan, a month-long spiritual observation that began on the night of April 13.

The month is marked by fasting from sunrise to sunset, prayers, and spiritual reflection.

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26 minutes ago

Million-dollar dumps: The Auckland car park worth $82.5 million

Caroline Williams Reporter from Auckland Stuff

Downtown Auckland is going through huge transformation with its various streetscape and transport projects. But in stark contrast, several plots of land worth hundreds of millions of dollars have sat as car parks since buildings were knocked down in the 1980s.

The Elliott St car park sits on a 4417 square metre plot of land, valued at $82.5 million.

The land has sat undeveloped as a car park - where an hour will cost you $19 - since the Royal International Hotel was demolished in 1987.

It was purchased by Singapore company NDG Asia Pacific (NZ) Limited for $53m in 2012, and in 2017 the company was given approval by the Overseas Investment Office to build and operate a 52-storey, five- star Ritz-Carlton Hotel, with 300 guest rooms, four floors for hotel facilities, six for retail and five for car parking.

The development is expected to cost $350m, with the start of construction dependent on the completion of City Rail Link. However, the resource consent for the tower is due to expire in October.

Click 'read more' for our full story.

32 minutes ago

Have you seen this amazing garden?

Mei Leng Wong Reporter from NZ Gardener & Get Growing

They had a vision for their property, but they also had three floods in 20 years. That didn't stop them pursuing the garden of their dreams though.