Air New Zealand has announced a start date for the airline’s highly-anticipated new Auckland-New York flights, with services set to take off on September 17.

Operating to John F. Kennedy Airport, the airline will operate its flagship Auckland-New York route three times a week, year-round with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said with international flying on hiatus for two years and the New Zealand border reopening on 2 May to visa-waiver countries, this is the moment American and Kiwi travellers have been waiting for.

“The US has always been a key market for us, and this new route cements our commitment to developing growing tourism opportunities between the two countries,” he said.

“In the six years leading up to Covid, the US visitor numbers to New Zealand doubled and looking at the average spend in New Zealand by US tourists, we estimate that this new route would contribute an additional NZ$65 million per year into the local economy.

“Traditionally, flight numbers 1 and 2 are used for an airline’s flagship route. And that’s what New York will be – our flagship route,” he said.

The new service further deepens the alliance between Air New Zealand and United Airlines.

“We’ve worked incredibly hard over the last few years to make this ultra-long-haul service a reality – it’s one of the longest routes in the world, at just over 16 hours northbound and 17 and a half hours southbound,” he said.

The new service will also provide greater choice for travellers between New Zealand and North America, with Air New Zealand serving seven destinations in North America – Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angles, San Francisco, Vancouver and soon New York.

James Wilkinson

Editor-In-Chief, Hotel Management