Photo: Wikimedia Commons
On September 17, 2022, Air New Zealand will launch its new flight route between Auckland and New York City, signaling New Zealand’s gradual reopening to global tourism.
The flights from Auckland will operate as NZ2 and the ones originating from New York’s JFK airport will be numbered NZ1.
“Traditionally, flight numbers 1 and 2 are used for an airline’s flagship route. And that’s what New York will be — our flagship route,” the airline’s CEO, Greg Foran, said in a statement.
Each leg will operate three times a week on Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Tickets are already on sale on ANZ’s website.
The new route will be one of the world’s longest flights. Flights departing Auckland Airport (AKL) will leave at 7:40 pm, spending 16 hours in the air before arriving at JFK. Flights from JFK to Auckland will last 17 hours and 35 minutes.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard over the last few years to make this ultra long-haul service a reality,” Foran added. “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 a great flying experience.”
The longest recorded passenger flight is between Singapore and JFK on Singapore Airlines, covering 9,534 miles and flying 18 hours.
The Qantas flight from Perth in Western Australia to London is also battling for one of the world’s longest routes. It resumes at the end of March after a pause due to the pandemic.
Qantas’ direct flight between Sydney and London, dubbed “Project Sunrise,” will clock in at over 19 hours when launched. It could easily claim the number one spot for the longest flight. However, the project was paused when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
In an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest late last year, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the airline plans to revisit the development of these ultra-long-haul routes in 2022, aiming to launch in the following two to three years.
The pandemic was responsible for many aviation-related records.
In March 2020, Air Tahiti Nui flew the longest ever scheduled passenger flight by distance, flying 9,765 miles from Papeete, French Polynesia to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle.
It usually involves a stopover in Los Angeles, but travel restrictions made it impossible, so the airline had to fly the journey without a stop.
Air New Zealand already operates several routes between the country and the United States. They have direct flights to Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. They also have another to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.