Air New Zealand to Fly Non-Stop to New York

Air New Zealand to Fly Non-Stop to New YorkAir New Zealand will launch non-stop commercial flights to New York next year, pipping Qantas to the post.

Air New Zealand will fly 3 times per week from Auckland to Newark Liberty International Airport from 29 October 2020. The flights will depart both Auckland and New York on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and will be operated by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

The new Air New Zealand flights to Newark will run to the following schedule:

  • NZ2 Auckland 19:55 – Newark 17:35 (arriving same day)
  • NZ1 Newark 19:05 – Auckland 06:45 (arriving 2 days later)

Northbound, the flight from Auckland to New York will take around 15 hours and 40 minutes. But the flight time from New York to Auckland will be 17 hours and 40 minutes, making it roughly the same length as Qantas’ Chicago-Brisbane flight that will launch next April. Qantas’ Brisbane-Chicago route is 148km longer than Auckland-Newark.

Air New Zealand’s Newark flight is designed for easy connections to/from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and other Australian cities. In fact, it could prove a more convenient option for Australians than Qantas’ current one-stop service via Los Angeles. That could change when Qantas launches non-stop flights from Sydney to New York, but Project Sunrise won’t become a reality until at least 2022.

“Relaxing in Air New Zealand’s lounge in Auckland beats a US transit hands down. Then there’s our great long-haul service, which includes New Zealand wine and cuisine, lie flat beds in Business Premier, spacious Premium Economy seats and the innovative Economy Skycouch that’s perfect for families,” Air New Zealand’s acting CEO Jeff McDowall said.

Newark will be Air New Zealand’s sixth US destination. It already flies to five other United Airlines hubs; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston and Honolulu.

Newark Airport (EWR) is actually in the US state of New Jersey, but is just a short ride from downtown Manhattan. Air New Zealand chose to start flying to Newark, rather than New York’s JFK airport, as it is a hub for its Star Alliance partner United Airlines. From Newark, Air New Zealand plans to offer connectivity not only to the east coast of the United States, but also to Europe.

Air New Zealand cancels Los Angeles-London route

Air New Zealand will need to offer good onward connections to Europe because it is also axing its only flight to Europe.

Since 1982, Air New Zealand has flown from Auckland to London Heathrow, via Los Angeles as flight NZ1. The Los Angeles-London portion of this flight has been a popular fifth-freedom route for trans-Atlantic travellers. Unfortunately, Air New Zealand will end this route at the same time as it starts Auckland-Newark operations. The NZ1/2 flight numbers will be transferred to the Newark flight.

Air New Zealand blames changing market dynamics and a renewed focus on point-to-point flying for the change.

“Today Kiwis have more than twice the number of ways to fly to London than a decade ago and preferences have changed. Less than seven percent of all airline travellers between Auckland and London chose to fly via Los Angeles last year,” McDowall said.

“At the same time, the Atlantic has become one of the most hotly contested routes in the world and Air New Zealand lacks the home market advantages and scale of the North American and European airlines we’re up against.”

As a result of this change, Air New Zealand will close its 130-strong London cabin crew base. It will also remove around 25 staff from its Hammersmith sales office.

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: NZ to cease flying to London and is axing the LAX-LHR route

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]