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

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

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 Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

8 comments

  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    21 Sep, 2017 07:08 am

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • kabe100

    kabe100

    21 Sep, 2017 08:00 am

    "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?
    Member who gave thanks

    Mjudd

  • StudiodeKadent

    StudiodeKadent

    21 Sep, 2017 09:02 am

    In theory, on their newer "higher premium seating" 787s it should be possible. But I don't think those jets have been delivered yet.
    Member who gave thanks

    Chris2304

  • Jedinak K

    Jedinak K

    21 Sep, 2017 08:10 am

    I hope they upgrade their business class hard product offering with the new jets
    Member who gave thanks

    MikeAir

  • aviation

    aviation

    21 Sep, 2017 09:01 am

    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.
    No member give thanks

  • Miguel

    simiguelito47

    21 Sep, 2017 09:06 am

    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
    No member give thanks

  • gredgy69

    gredgy69

    21 Sep, 2017 10:50 am

    That's providing they don't run out of fuel again lol.
    Member who gave thanks

    MikeAir

  • Michael Reade

    MikeAir

    22 Sep, 2017 04:34 pm

    The NZ bed is great in J but as a seat it is absolutely aweful.
    No member give thanks

Guest

15 Dec, 2018 04:05 pm

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