Air New Zealand wants to fly non-stop from Auckland to New York

By David Flynn, September 21 2017

Air New Zealand plans to join Qantas in launching non-stop flights from Auckland to New York and Chicago on the back of a new generation of ultra-long range jets.

The Star Alliance member airline is looking at both the Airbus A350-900ULR and the Boeing 777X jets.

Qantas is weighing up a similar decision, although the airline is pressing Airbus and Boeing to further extend the range of both aircraft in order to launch direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne to London – flights which would take some 20 hours, compared to 18 hours to New York.

Those same long-legged jets could find their way across the Tasman, with Air New Zealand planning replacements for its Boeing 777-200ER fleet in the early 2020s.

However, while Qantas sees non-stop flights as bait for business travellers, Air New Zealand considers the NZ-US routes as primarily for “premium leisure travellers” rather than “corporate road warriors,” airline CEO Chris Luxon tells Forbes.

The US is AirNZ's largest long-range market, and the sheer distance of Auckland from North America, South America and Asia means “we end up flying a normal [international] flight of 12 or 13 hours,” Luxon says.

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

StudiodeKadent

StudiodeKadent

20 May 2015

Total posts 584

Good work Air New Zealand!

I'd wager they'll take the A350 (lighter, easier to fill, more suited for point to point, can provide a full fleet replacement for NZ's 777s, seat comfort competitive advantage over QF) over the 777X. They won't be serving Europe directly until at least the next generation (i.e. after the 787s, A350s and 777Xs) of longhaul jets, so they only need AKL-NYC range for now. A pair of A350-ULRs would easily do it.

Chicago could also make sense for them given its United's biggest hub (so they'd have feed/connections), and United have their new lounge available.

kabe100

kabe100

30 Aug 2017

Total posts 33

"Chicago could also make sense for them given its United's biggest hub (so they'd have feed/connections), and United have their new lounge available."

Is nonstop AKL-ORD achievable even now by their 787-9?

Jedinak K

Jedinak K

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

06 Sep 2012

Total posts 211

I hope they upgrade their business class hard product offering with the new jets

aviation

aviation

18 Mar 2014

Total posts 91

The new hard product is due to be installed for the first time on the replacement for the 777-200, so can expect it to be on these new aircraft.

simiguelito47

simiguelito47

Asiana Airlines - Asiana Club

09 Feb 2017

Total posts 41

Thank goodness, a viable Star Alliance alternative to United to reach the East Coast of the US ... and you could imagine the reduced stress of an AKL transit vs a LAX transit

gredgy69

gredgy69

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 May 2013

Total posts 42

That's providing they don't run out of fuel again lol.

MikeAir

MikeAir

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

14 Jul 2017

Total posts 13

The NZ bed is great in J but as a seat it is absolutely aweful.

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