Photo Credit: Photo by Dan Freeman
For The First Time, Air New Zealand Directly Bridges New York And Auckland
On September 17, an Air New Zealand flight arrived in New York City after being airborne for sixteen hours. It was the airline’s first direct flight to the Big Apple.
The CEO of Air New Zealand, Greg Foran, was pleased.
“As one of the world’s greatest cities, Air New Zealand is proud to add the Big Apple to its list of 29 international destinations,” he said. CNN Travel quoted him as saying New York and Auckland are his two favorite cities.
In July 2022, New Zealand opened its borders to international visitors. Before that, Travel Noire reported that “New Zealand had some of the strictest lock downs anywhere in the world.”
To make the inaugural flight to New York special, CNN Travel wrote, “on board meals consisted of New Zealand meats, wines and produce.”
Aside from Foran, there were a handful of luminaries from New Zealand on board, including a former prime minister and the minister of tourism. The present prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, “was reportedly planning to join but had to go to London for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral instead.”
On a flight bound for Auckland from New York, there was one fly in the ointment. Some passengers didn’t get their luggage.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Operating Officer, Alex Marren, addressed this. “Unfortunately, given additional fuel requirements due to adverse weather, some customer bags weren’t loaded in New York. We are getting them to New Zealand as soon as possible.”
The carrier plans to do all it reasonably can do to lessen the chances of that happening again.
The journey between New York and Auckland is one of the longest as far as direct flights are concerned. Another is Singapore Airlines’ flight to Newark, New Jersey, which lasts 18 hours.
Australia’s chief carrier, Qantas, wants to add a direct flight from Melbourne to Dallas before the year finishes.
Where the U.S. is concerned, Air New Zealand also has flights going to Honolulu and San Francisco.