Air New Zealand adds Honolulu stopover for flights to Los Angeles

'Not quite non-stop' flights between NZ and the US begin next month.

By David Flynn, January 5 2021
Air New Zealand adds Honolulu stopover for flights to Los Angeles

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.

Also read: Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-10 business class plans


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.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 156

On one level this is counterintuitive given the long legs of the 789. On another level the crew base in HNL does make sense.  Why not allow pax to travel AKL-HNL-AKL though?


19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1425

Tommygun they may have a separate Honolulu flight, and also to stop LA and Honolulu passengers mixing on the flights given the higher levels of infection of hotspot passengers and California is one huge hotspot.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 469

Having to offload and onload pax would also add considerably to the stopover time.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2018

Total posts 28

Great idea for crew welfare and it also shows international passenger travel returning is more a 5-10yr plan than the foreseeable future.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

28 Oct 2011

Total posts 469

Duty time for crew doing HNL-LAX/SFO-HNL will be around 13-14 hours.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

05 Sep 2013

Total posts 47

Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants did do a round trip on HNL-LAX sector and some other west cost US cities pre-covid and did not overnight most of the times.

31 May 2013

Total posts 26

I don’t think people realise how low demand is to and from US from NZ/AU. 

This makes perfect sense, NZ have a duty to minimise risk to their crew where possible. Also reduces the risk of accidental exposure when crew return back home.

so now any direct OZ/USA flights on air nz are 2 stop rather than 1. Great (NOT)

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