Air New Zealand Has Reignited ‘The Great Pavlova Debate’ With Their Gift to Qantas

air new zealand qantas

Swiftly following the news that the Trans-Tasman bubble is finally going to happen — get your passports at the ready — Air New Zealand and Qantas have reignited their historic (playful) feud.

Yesterday afternoon, two hours after the bubble was officially announced by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, did Air New Zealand Group Executive Greg Foran send a very tongue-in-cheek gift to Qantas boss, Alan Joyce (talk about inside knowledge).

The gift? A pavlova — a delicious dessert, in which the country of origin is still hotly debated (it’s an Aussie thing, cmon). To top it off, literally? The pav was covered in sliced kiwi fruit, and tied together with a piece of string and tiny New Zealand flag. Apparently, it’s a “Kiwiana gift”.

Posted on Qantas’s Twitter, along with the…heartfelt…letter from Foran, Qantas jested that the dessert looks familiar. The letter concluded with a mention of the Bledisloe Cup, a sore spot for Australia for the last…18 years. As Air New Zealand said, “We tried to send the Bledisloe Cup but they wouldn’t let us.”

Obviously, Qantas didn’t take the gift lying down; we Aussies are a competitive bunch. It appears the Australian airline is sending “some of Australia’s finest” in return — Crowded House, not included.

No word yet on what the return package includes, but the letter attached suggests mangoes (we do grow them good here). Our famous TimTams are a potential gifting option as well.

The air carrier rivalry dates back to 2015, ahead of the Rugby World Cup finals. The wager between the two involved the painting of aeroplanes — Qantas to turn black with an All Blacks logo, and Air New Zealand’s planes to be painted gold with ‘Qantas Wallabies’ on the side.

We’re unsure if banter is an official requirement when flying to New Zealand, but better get your best one-liners at the ready, along with your mask.

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