Air New Zealand adds Newark nonstop, axes Los Angeles-London flights
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Beginning in October 2020, Air New Zealand will fly nonstop three times a week between New York’s Newark airport and Auckland. It will be the first-ever nonstop flight between New York and New Zealand.
The flights to Auckland from Newark will take around 17 hours and 40 minutes, according to the airline. At almost 9,000 miles, this will be the longest flight in Air New Zealand’s network and the fifth-longest in the world by distance. Tickets will go on sale soon, pending regulatory approvals and landing slot confirmation.
The route will be flown by a Boeing 787-9, with business, premium economy and economy seats. Air New Zealand also offers on the 787 the Skycouch, which turns some adjacent economy seats into a bed, although not one comparable to a biz-class lie-flat bed.
As Air New Zealand adds this new route, it is also ending its service from Auckland to London via Los Angeles, a flagship flight for the airline since 1982. Air NZ just does not have the advantages that U.S. and European airlines have on the North Atlantic routes, acting CEO Jeff McDowall said.
“Today Kiwis have more than twice the number of ways to fly to London than a decade ago and preferences have changed. Less than seven percent of all airline travelers between Auckland and London chose to fly via Los Angeles last year,” McDowall said. “At the same time, the Atlantic has become one of the most hotly contested routes in the world and Air New Zealand lacks the home market advantages and scale of the North American and European airlines we’re up against.”
The airline serves Los Angeles, Honolulu, San Francisco, Houston and Chicago in the US, the latter since November 2018.
“Visitor growth to New Zealand is strongest from North America and performance of our new service to Chicago is exceeding expectations. New York has been an aspiration for Air New Zealand for some time and withdrawal from the Atlantic will free up aircraft capacity to make this milestone a reality,” McDowall said in a statement.
Ending that service also means Air New Zealand will be closing its crew base in London, and possibly reducing the size of its sales office in the city.
Unfortunately, if the carrier’s current routes are an indicator of premium-class award availability, it’ll likely be exceedingly hard to redeem your points or miles for business class on this route. We’re only seeing a handful of dates from with business-class award seats out of or into Los Angeles (LAX) or Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) at the moment — all of which are in late November/early December of this year. If you are lucky enough to snag these seats once the route to Newark (EWR) launches, here’s what you’d need for a round-trip ticket from major Star Alliance programs:
All three of these awards would include roughly $70 in taxes and fees.If you’re willing to brave economy for this ultra-long-haul flight, you’ll probably have an easier time finding award space. Both United and Avianca will charge you 80,000 miles for the round-trip award flight in coach, while Aeroplan carries a slight premium (90,000 miles).
Nick Ewen contributed reporting.
Featured image courtesy of Boeing
WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.