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Air New Zealand Celebrates 1 Year Of Non-Stop Flights To New York


  • Air New Zealand celebrated the one-year anniversary of its service to New York City, offering flights from Auckland on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
  • The New York to Auckland route is one of the longest flights in the world, with a flying time of over 16 hours, and operates three times a week.
  • Qantas recently launched a similar service from New York to Auckland, with one more weekly flight, as part of its Project Sunrise for long-haul flights.

The flag carrier of New Zealand, Air New Zealand, celebrated the one-year anniversary of its service to New York City, New York. The Auckland-based airline began service to New York City one year ago on September 17.

Service to New York

A year ago, Air New Zealand began service to New York City from Auckland International Airport (AKL). Initially, the service was operated with a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The flight took just over 16 hours from Auckland to New York City. The return service was estimated to take an additional hour due to jet stream differences on the route. At the time of the service’s inaugural flight, the New York to Auckland service was the fourth-longest operation in the world. Since then, Qantas has surpassed it with a slightly longer flight from Dallas to Melbourne.

The route, which flies nearly 9,000 miles, is at the top end of the Boeing 787’s range. Because of this, the weight capacity of the aircraft is a flight-by-flight concern.

Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner taxiing at Auckland International Airport.

Photo: Jordan Tan | Shutterstock

Air New Zealand began the service at three times a week. Currently, the airline operates this round-trip service on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The Boeing 787 flies with 275 available seats, but on the return service to Auckland, many seats are marked as unavailable in order to make the requested weight capacity. The aircraft also flies with 17 crew members, including four pilots and 13 flight attendants.

The airline sent out a statement celebrating the year of service and totaled some interesting numbers that have occurred in the 311 flights that have flown over the past year. Since the operation began, the airline has served over 112,000 meals, and 24,000 glasses of champagne, and has an estimated 344,000 hours of movies streamed on this route alone. The airline also mentioned the 65 bags that were temporarily lost during an incident over the past year.

Other flights from New York City to Auckland

In addition to Air New Zealand operating the New York City to Auckland route, Qantas recently launched a similar service. The newly operated flight launched on June 14 and the airline currently operates four weekly flights. This is one more weekly flight than Air New Zealand offers. However, the Qantas service originates in Sydney. From there the aircraft will operate via Auckland International Airport to John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK). This service has been years in the making, even as Qantas upgraded its international lounge in Auckland in preparation.

A Qantas Airbus A350-1000 flying in the sky.

Photo: Airbus

Qantas began the service to directly rival Air New Zealand’s flights but also began the flight in accordance with the airline’s Project Sunrise. Project Sunrise also will see the beginning of flights from Sydney to London and Sydney to New York. These services will be operated with brand-new Airbus A350-1000s, which have not yet been delivered by the manufacturer.

In the meantime, Qantas has been operating three of the top five longest flights. The Auckland to New York City route joins the ultra-long-haul routes between Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) to Melbourne International Airport (MEL) and Perth International Airport (PER) to London Heathrow International Airport (LHR).


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