Air New Zealand confirmed on Thursday that it would launch a new non-stop weekly service from Auckland International to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). The service will run three times a week starting from September 17th of this year. 

The new U.S route connecting NZ to the States

New Zealand’s flag carrier will operate the new extra-long haul route using Boeing 787 Dreamliners (B787-9s). 

Travelling northbound from Auckland, the long-haul flights will depart at 7:40 pm and will take approximately 16 hours to reach New York. Passengers travelling from JFK will depart at 9:55 pm and endure approximately 17 hours and 35 minutes of air time, lengthened slightly due to the wind. They will arrive at 7:30 am. 

These flight times are relatively short, as travelling between New York and New Zealand can be somewhat taxing, with travel times averaging a long 30 hours. 

Flights will start mid-September and will depart every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. 

To make the long-haul flight as comfortable and refreshing for customers as possible, Air New Zealand has worked hard on their onboard experience. Passengers are presented with a choice of business, premium and premium economy seats. A ‘SkyCouch’ option allows passengers to book a row of three seats to themselves that can be transformed into a lie-down bed. Each seat comes with its own entertainment unit, and free snacks and drinks are available between meal services in all cabins.

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner economy interior
Example economy interior of Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner | © airline ratings.com

Chief Executive of Air New Zealand Greg Foran spoke of how hard the airline has worked to make a new service a reality, and the pleasurable experience customers are in store for if they travel via the new service. 

It’s one of the longest routes in the world, at just over 16 hours northbound and 17 and a half hours southbound. To ensure customers arrive in New York feeling refreshed, we’ve put a lot of thought into the onboard experience, and teams are working around the clock to make sure this is a great flying experience.

There’s excitement surrounding finally having a start date after an extremely lengthy delay caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Especially as the new route will become Air New Zealand’s “flagship” service, as confirmed by Foran. The New York route will replace flights to London Heathrow. 

Foran attributed increased U.S visitor numbers to the introduction of the New York route, visitors “doubled”, causing the airline to believe that the new route will prove successful in terms of profit and recovery post-pandemic.

Air New Zealand announced plans to replace flights to the United Kingdom with a new service to New York in 2019, with initial intentions being for the service to commence by the end of 2020. The eruption of the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted these plans considerably, especially as New Zealand imposed relatively strict travel restrictions in response to the raging pandemic. This meant the transition was only completed now, in line with New Zealand’s travel restrictions being relaxed at the beginning of March 2022. 

When the new-long haul route begins in September, JFK will be the sixth U.S airport served by Air New Zealand, joining Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, and Honolulu. 

What do you think of the new Auckland to New York route? Let us know!

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