Aviation

Here’s what Air New Zealand’s direct New York route means for Aussie travellers

Air New Zealand announced on Wednesday it would be scrapping its Los Angelas to London route in exchange for non-stop flight between Auckland and New York.

The new route will run three times a week and will be operated by the airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. According to Air New Zealand, the decision to withdraw from its daily Los Angelas to London service was made so the airline can direct capacity to faster-growing markets.

“Air New Zealand is strongest when operating direct flights to and from our home base and this reset will put us in the best possible position to take advantage of increasing demand across the Pacific Rim,” Jeff McDowall, CEO of Air New Zealand said.

“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.”

Running from Auckland to Newark Liberty International Airport, the service will be active from 29 October 2020 and will be the first non-stop air service between Australasia and New York.

The announcement came just days after Qantas landed its first non-stop commercial flight from New York to Sydney, which was used to run a series of experiments to assess health and wellbeing onboard ultra long haul flights.

Air New Zealand said in a statement that the route will provide Australian travellers with a seamless journey to New York via Auckland where passengers remain at the same terminal and can access the airline’s flagship lounge if eligible.

Along with connections from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, the new route will give customers in Adelaide, Gold Coast, Cairns and the Sunshine Coast a one-stop journey to New York compared with current options from those ports which typically require a transit stop in both Australia and the US.

“We know New York is a popular destination for Australians and we’re looking forward to offering a better way to fly from next October,” McDowall said.

The new service strengthens Air New Zealand’s alliance with United Airlines and follows its successful launch of the non-stop flights to United’s hub in Chicago last year.

From Newark, United operates more than 400 daily flights across the US so the new route also provides easy onward connections to more than 90 destinations across the US.

“Our non-stop flight will cut travel time by around three hours, putting New Zealand in easy reach of New York and the US Eastern Seaboard,” McDowall said.

“It’s terrific we can make a seamless journey a reality for Kiwis wanting to experience New York and Americans keen to explore New Zealand and we’ll work with United to grow the route and visitor numbers in both directions.”

The new route will go on sale in November this year and is expected to take 15 hours and 40 minutes northbound and 17 hours 40 minutes southbound.

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