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Call to drop trans-Tasman passports

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20 July 2010

Jetstar chief executive Bruce Buchanan said flights between the two countries should be treated as though domestic, reported The Australian newspaper.

"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 we have a common border and trans-Tasman flights are treated like a domestic trip," Mr Buchanan said.

In what "would be the single biggest boost to the tourism industry on both sides of the Tasman", Mr Buchanan claims doing away with passports and immigration checks would give each country an extra 326,000 passenger movements a year, reduce costs by £142 million and add at least £56 million per annum in gross domestic product.

His comments came as Jetstar announced its plans to expand its trans-Tasman operations with the launch of direct flights between Australia and Queenstown in December

In most cases, Australian and New Zealand citizens can enter each other’s country to visit, live and work without the need to pre-apply for authority to enter the other country - although New Zealanders are granted a Special Category Visa in keeping with Australia’s requirements for all non-citizens to hold visas.

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