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Air NZ to finally fly B787 direct to NYC

written by Hannah Dowling | March 23, 2022

Air New Zealand B787 ZK-NZG on approach to Perth Airport 21 March 2021
Air New Zealand B787 ZK-NZG on approach to Perth Airport, 21 March 2021. (Steve Worner)

Air New Zealand has today announced it will finally begin direct flights to the Big Apple from Auckland from 17 September, after a false start in 2020.

The New Zealand flag carrier first announced the mammoth 17.5-hour direct flight connecting the country’s largest international airport to New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport in late 2019, however, the route was unable to take off as planned in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Now, Air New Zealand is preparing to take on the Big Apple three times per week using its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, offering Australians a new layover option when headed to the United States east coast.

It comes after the New Zealand government announced that it would welcome back tourists from “visa-waiver” nations, including the US, the UK, Singapore and Germany from midnight on Sunday, 1 May. Meanwhile, Australians will be free to enter the country just over two weeks earlier, from 11:59pm on 12 April.

“New York is an iconic yet familiar city, a bucket list item. We’re thrilled to be able to offer our Australian customers more choice to get to North America, connecting onto our flagship Auckland-New York flights from our nine Australian ports,” said Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran.


Foran said Australian customers will have the option to connect directly onto their New York-bound flight or spend a few days exploring Auckland before beginning their Manhattan adventure.

“As an international service from start to finish, it’s a unique proposition and really is the easiest way to get to the Big Apple, on the world’s safest airline,” he said.

After a false start on what is to become the airline’s flagship route in 2020, NZ2 from Auckland to New York will take off at 4pm local time on Saturday, 17 September, arriving over 17 hours later in NYC at 4:15pm local time.

The return leg, NZ1, will depart JFK at 9:55pm on Monday, 19 September, landing in Auckland on Wednesday, 21 September at 7:30am.

“We’ve worked hard over the last few years to make this ultra-long-haul service a reality – it’s one of the longest routes in the world,” Foran said.

“To ensure customers arrive in New York feeling refreshed, we’ve put a lot of thought into the onboard experience and teams are working around the clock to make sure this is a great flying experience.

“The US has always been a key market for us, and this new route cements our commitment to growing tourism opportunities with Australia, New Zealand and the US.”

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