Airlines report most passengers who need an electronic travel authority (ETA) to board a flight to New Zealand have purchased one before getting to their departure airport.
Justin Tighe-Umbers, executive director of the Board of Airline Representatives New Zealand (BARNZ), says since the travel authority was introduced from October 1, more than 85% of travellers who needed an ETA had one.
“The introduction of the ETA has not caused major issues for BARNZ members,” Mr Tighe-Umbers says. “BARNZ called for flexibility in those cases where a passenger is late arriving at the airport and might not understand they need one. Immigration NZ (INZ) has taken a pragmatic approach and phased implementation of the ETA. INZ has also had people at airports around the world to help travellers who need to buy one.”
Mr Tighe-Umbers says BARNZ’s 26 member airlines follow boarding instructions given by INZ’s Advanced Passenger Processing (APP) system and related call centre. The APP system gives instruction on whether passengers heading to New Zealand should board their flights.
“The ETA requirement affects around 1.5 million passengers a year,” he says. “It is critical that it’s implemented smoothly and in a way that avoids harming New Zealand’s reputation as a premiere tourist destination. We continue to work closely with INZ to help ensure that happens.”