Air New Zealand's non-stop flights between Auckland and the USA are about to get a stopover in Honolulu.
The Kiwi carrier says that as of February 2, its NZ5/NZ6 Los Angeles flights will be rerouted via the Hawaiian holiday hub (the new routing kicks in from January 11 for cargo flights, which also journey to San Francisco).
But passengers won't be allowed to break their journey and hit the beaches – the pit-stop is only to change crew, as AirNZ pilots and cabin crew will now make their overnight stays in Honolulu rather than LAX.
"Re-routing North American flights through Honolulu means aircrew can overnight in a lower risk destination while still maintaining vital connections into North America," the airline explains.
"The changes mean flights from New Zealand will make a brief stop in Honolulu to change crew before continuing onto Los Angeles or San Francisco."
Crew working the flights to Los Angeles and San Francisco "will then remain airside (on arrival at those ports) and operate the return flight to Honolulu, where there will be a further crew change to operate back to New Zealand."
Honolulu is roughly two-thirds of the way between Auckland and the US mainland: the Auckland-Honolulu leg will clock in at around 8h30m, with the onwards leg to LAX around 5h30m.
Air New Zealand's timetable shows no change to the flight times of its Los Angeles service. Executive Traveller has approached Air New Zealand for additional information on the stopover, and will update this article on the airline's response.
AirNZ's pared-back pandemic network currently runs two Boeing 787-9 flights per week between Auckland and Los Angeles.