Newcastle Airport hopes to revive direct flights to New Zealand this summer after Kiwi leader Jacinda Ardern announced a travel bubble with Australia from April 19.
The airport has been in talks with airlines about the possibility of opening up routes to New Zealand as Australia's only quarantine-free travel destination.
The Newcastle Herald understands it is unlikely any of the risk-averse carriers will jump on board at least until summer.
Ms Ardern announced travel from Australia to New Zealand would start from 11.59pm on Sunday, April 18.
She said the New Zealand director-general of health had deemed the risk of COVID-19 entering from Australia as "low".
"Our health response now gives us the opportunity to connect with loved ones again," Ms Ardern said.
Virgin flew direct from Newcastle to Auckland in two 13-week blocks over the 2018-19 and 2019-20 summers and was contracted to continue the service for another two years before the coronavirus pandemic forced the airline into administration in April last year.
US private equity firm Bain Capital bought the stricken carrier late last year.
Newcastle Airport has flights to Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Canberra, Ballina and Port Macquarie.
It is understood it also may be eyeing off far north Queensland and Tasmania as domestic destinations as the disruption of international travel extends into a second year.
"After two successful summer seasons flying direct to Auckland from late 2018 to early 2020, we are hopeful we'll see a return to a trans-Tasman service in 2021," an airport spokesperson said.
"In our first season we saw travel between the two cities increase 500 per cent, and we believe there is more potential to be tapped."
The spokesperson said the airport had been "fighting hard behind the scenes" to revive a New Zealand service.
"At this stage, we have engaged with several airlines and all have indicated they are looking for certainty from both the New Zealand and Australian governments before committing to more concrete negotiations.
"Once the details of a future trans-Tasman bubble become clear, we will focus on delivering the best outcome for our region."
The airport had received "indications of support from Destination NSW and Tourism Australia, both in terms of ongoing advocacy as well as more tangible support to secure a New Zealand route".