Air New Zealand and Qantas aren’t just planning on renewing their rivalry now the Transtasman bubble is opening, they’ve also been quick to get back to a favourite past-time of poking fun at each other.
Qantas took to Twitter yesterday to showcase a gift received from their Kiwi counterparts just hours after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced she was opening New Zealand up to quarantine-free travel with Australia, beginning from April 19.
The Australian airline posted a photo showing a handwritten letter received from Air NZ chief executive Greg Foran along with a gift of a pavlova.
In it, Foran says: “It’s been a while since we spotted a kangaroo flying over Aotearoa”.
“We’ve certainly been looking forward to passing you in the sky again soon.”
He then ignites an age-old debate about who invented pavlova by presenting a New Zealand-made version of the dessert.
It is heavily layered with Kiwi fruit and adorned with a New Zealand flag.
“Please accept this pavlova as a heartfelt Kiwiana gift from across the ditch,” Foran writes.
Qantas subsequently took to Twitter with the caption: “Thanks for the pav … it looks familiar”.
It then follows up by showing a photo of its own gift bound for Air NZ’s head honchos.
A handwritten note begins with “G’day Air New Zealand” before seeming to suggest a pavlova goes down better when topped with mangoes.
It also captioned its Twitter post by saying it was sending “some of Australia’s finest” to Air NZ.
“Sadly Crowded House couldn’t fit in the overhead locker,” it added in reference to Australia’s preference for claiming New Zealand artists like Crowded House as one of its own.
The riposte came as Air NZ and Qantas planned to ramp up flights between Australia and New Zealand once the bubble opened on April 19.
Air New Zealand expects to fly between three and five flights per day from Auckland to Sydney after April 19.
Currently it has three flights leaving to Sydney on April 19, with the cheapest costing $283.
It then has two flights per day leaving on April 20 and 21, four flights leaving on Thursday, April 22 and five on Friday, April 23.
It also plans to offer one-to-three flights per day from Auckland to Melbourne and one-to-two per day to Brisbane.
Aucklanders will also be able to fly to the Gold Coast, Adelaide, Sunshine Coast, Cairns and Hobart, with plans to include flights to Perth.
Air NZ will also offer direct flights from Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown to Australia.
Qantas and Jetstar plan to operate up to 122 return flights per week after April 19.
That includes two new routes into Queensland – Auckland to Cairns and the Gold Coast – a move that will provide competition to Air New Zealand.
The 122 return flights per week will initially fly 15 routes, and offer more than 52,000 seats each week.
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