The countdown is officially on for the launch of Air New Zealand’s nonstop service between Auckland (AKL) and New York.
New Zealand’s borders are set to open to U.S. visitors from May 2, 2022, and this route will begin a few months later on September 17, 2022. Also of note: it’s set to operate from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) instead of New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), as was originally announced when we got wind of the plans back in February. At 8,828 miles, it will be the third-longest commercial route in the world.
“The U.S. has always been a key market for us, and this new route cements our commitment to growing opportunities for tourism between the two countries,” said Greg Foran, Chief Executive Officer at Air New Zealand.
Let’s take a look at some more details of this exciting new nonstop service.
Nonstop Service From JFK to New Zealand Coming This Fall
The inaugural Auckland-New York flight will take place on September 17, 2022, with special timing:
- Depart Auckland (AKL) 4 p.m. — Arrive New York (JFK) 4:15 p.m.
After that, the flight will operate according to the following schedule:
- Depart New York (JFK) 9:55 p.m. — Arrive Auckland (AKL) 7:30 a.m. (+2)
- Depart Auckland (AKL) 7:40 p.m. — Arrive New York (JFK) 7:55 p.m.
Air New Zealand has opted to fit the Boeing 787 Dreamliners that will operate the route with a unique premium-heavy seat configuration. Each jet will have 288 seats in total, with 27 lie-flats in business class, 33 in premium economy, 215 in economy, and 13 unique “Skycouches.”
This route’s flight numbers are also worth talking about — the airline’s using NZ1 and NZ2 for these flights, which indicates that it considers New York to be its flagship route. Previously, those flight numbers were reserved for its route between Auckland and London-Heathrow (LHR) via Los Angeles (LAX), which operated before the pandemic.
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Why the Switch to JFK?
Air New Zealand is a member of the Star Alliance, so its original plan to serve New York via Newark Airport made a lot of sense considering fellow Star Alliance member United Airlines uses that airport as its New York hub.
In contrast, United only operates 2 nonstop services from JFK — to Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO).
However, Air New Zealand also operates nonstop service between Auckland and Chicago (ORD), Houston (IAH), Los Angeles (LAX), and San Francisco (SFO), meaning passengers still have the opportunity to easily connect between Air New Zealand and United Airlines flights.
Air New Zealand is finally launching its much-anticipated nonstop flights between Auckland and New York. Connecting the 2 countries’ most populated cities will provide a wealth of business and leisure opportunities for those living at both ends of the route.
Featured Image Credit:
Air New Zealand