Air New Zealand will start nonstop flights between Auckland (AKL) and Newark (EWR) in October 2020, the airline announced this week.
The nonstop flight from New York to New Zealand will be the airline’s sixth flight to North America, following Los Angeles (LAX), San Francisco (SFO), Houston-Intercontinental (IAH), Chicago-O’Hare (ORD), and Vancouver (YVR). The flight to New York City clocks in at 8,800 miles each way, making it the fifth-longest flight in the world.
Northbound flights will last nearly 16 hours, while flights heading south will run almost 18 hours total.
Air New Zealand will fly a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner equipped with 275 seats on the new route – with a focus on Premium Economy and business class seats. Tickets should go up for sale in the next month or two, barring any regulatory problems.
It’s the latest addition for Air New Zealand since it began flights to Chicago late last year.
But the new nonstop option comes at a cost. Air New Zealand is scrapping its longtime flights between Los Angeles and London-Heathrow (LHR). That fifth-freedom route – a term for a flight between non-hub airports – was one of several ways Londoners could make the long trek to New Zealand.
“New York has been an aspiration for Air New Zealand for some time and withdrawal from the Atlantic will free up aircraft capacity to make this milestone a reality,” acting CEO Jeff McDowall said in a statement.
Air New Zealand is going for broke with nonstop flights to New York. It’s an ultra-long haul flight, and those are tough for airlines to make work. But it’s an exciting option for East Coast travelers to head for New Zealand.
Lead photo courtesy of Mark Harkin via Flickr
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