Air New Zealand returns to Hobart and Seoul

Drone point of view on Dreamland beach, Bali, Indonesia.
Edited by Travel Weekly

    Air New Zealand will resume flying to Hobart, it revealed today in its summer schedule update. It also announced it will be returning to Korean capital Seoul.

    Both the Auckland to Hobart and Auckland to Seoul routes will be seasonal services, with Air New Zealand operating three direct flights a week to each destination over the summer months from October – March.

    The airline will also be expanding its capacity on key Asian routes, with Singapore, Tokyo, and Taipei all seeing increases in seat numbers on offer between November 2024 and March 2025 as a result of the introduction of Air New Zealand’s larger 777-300 aircraft on these routes.

    The increase includes a higher proportion of premium seats, giving customers more opportunities to travel with extra space and comfort.

    The 777-300 aircraft also has a 30 percent higher cargo capability than the 787 aircraft they replace, which will provide a welcome boost for exporters to these markets and beyond.

    While Air New Zealand is returning to routes and increasing some capacity, aircraft availability limitations due to ongoing engine challenges mean it has had to extend the pause to its Chicago service which was due to resume from October 2024.

    Air New Zealand General manager long haul Scott Carr says it was a tough decision, but one that meant the airline could return to key destinations on its network and assure customers’ travel plans on other routes.

    “Unfortunately, ongoing challenges with the availability of Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines on our 787-9 aircraft means we haven’t been able to return to our Chicago route in October as expected. We anticipate returning to Chicago when we receive our new 787 aircraft from Boeing, currently expected in the second half of 2025.

    “Over the next few days, our teams will be in touch directly with customers who have bookings on our Chicago route from October to share their options, so they do not need to contact us proactively. Those who booked via a travel agent should contact their agent to confirm changes to their itinerary.

    “While we know this news of a further pause will be disappointing for customers with travel plans to Chicago, there are still plenty of options to travel to the city with a stopover in another US port.

    “Our premium cabins are incredibly popular with customers travelling to and from destinations like Singapore, Tokyo, and Taipei, so we’re excited to introduce increased capacity from November to give those customers more seats to book travel.

    “We’re committed to connecting New Zealand with the world and these schedule changes mean we can continue to do that.”

    Asia capacity increases for November 2024 – March 2025 include*:

    Tokyo: 30,000 additional seats, the majority of which are in Business Premier and Premium Economy
    Singapore: 20,000 additional seats, 11,000 of which are in Business Premier and Premium Economy
    Taipei: 5,000 additional Business Premier and Premium Economy seats

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