Air New Zealand Breaks the Ice With a Nonstop Flight From New York to Auckland

Air New Zealand launched nonstop flights on the New York-Auckland route 9 photos
Photo: Instagram/Air New Zealand
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After breaking free from the pandemic’s tight grip, commercial aviation across the globe is ready for major changes. This includes, in some cases, taking a big step towards ultra-long-haul flights, something that’s possible thanks to the new-generation airliners. Air New Zealand is one of the first to succeed, launching regular nonstop flights to and from New York.
Qantas, the Australian flagship airline, has been teasing Project Sunrise since 2019, aiming to launch nonstop flights from Sydney to New York and London. After several roadblocks, it’s set to finally launch them by 2025. Until then, it looks like New Zealand’s flagship carrier, Air New Zealand, made it first to the finish line.

The carrier completed its maiden voyage on the New York-Auckland route. The first flight from Auckland to New York arrived on Saturday, and the New York-Auckland flight arrived on Monday morning (or Sunday afternoon, New York time) after 16 hours and 36 minutes in the air.

This isn’t the world’s longest flight (still claimed by Singapore Airlines, covering almost 10,000 miles/16,093 km from Singapore to the JFK Airport in New York), but it occupies the honorable fourth place.

It’s a strategic milestone for New Zealand, meant to expand the country’s tourism significantly. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern was also supposed to be on this historic nonstop flight to New York but had to cancel in order to attend the Royal funeral in UK, The Points Guy reports.

This new thrice-weekly service will be operated by a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, with a special premium configuration, boasting more business-class seats and premium economy recliners compared to the other Dreamliners operated by Air New Zealand.

A few months ago, the carrier revealed a new luxury cabin concept, featuring innovative sleeping pods, special lighting, a configuration that allows more privacy, and even meditative media content – all with the purpose of making the ultra-long flights of the future as comfortable as possible.

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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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