15 July 2010

Calls for immigration checks between New Zealand / Australia to be scrapped

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Immigration checks between Australia and New Zealand should be scrapped, Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said.

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Calls for immigration checks between Australia and New Zealand to be consolidated.

The lost cost carrier Jetstar has just started direct flights between Australia and the New Zealand tourism city of Queenstown.

Mr Buchanan said for two countries which are so closely aligned in cultural and legal systems, there has got to be a way to get it worked out so that there is a common border and trans-Tasman flights are treated like a domestic trip.

The consolidation would generate an extra 326,000 passenger movements a year, cut around $250 million in costs and add at least $100 million a year in gross domestic profit for both countries, Mr Buchanan said.

A possible first step towards reducing processing for trans-Tasman flights could be to handle all the processing on one side of the Tasman with, for example,  Australian Immigration  taking over immigration and customs processing for both arriving and departing flights.

Jetstar has further expanded its trans-Tasman operations with the launch of direct flights between Melbourne and Queenstown, and Gold Coast to Queenstown, starting from December.

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