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More flights to New Zealand returning this summer

April 10, 2022
4 min read
aerial photo of Queenstown Zealand at night with glowing streets and mountains at sunset in the back
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As New Zealand prepares to open its borders in May to vaccinated travelers from the U.S. and other visa waiver countries, more airlines are revealing plans to resume service to the country.

Hawaiian Airlines announced it will resume nonstop flights between Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Auckland (AKL) in July.

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Honolulu Airport March 2022. (Photo by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy)

The Honolulu-based carrier called this a “long-awaited” return to New Zealand, after more than two years where flights between the two destinations were suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The move follows Hawaiian’s return to Sydney with nonstop service at the end of last year. With the airline set to once again offer direct flights to both Australia and New Zealand this summer, Hawaiian Airlines officials pointed out that the airline will have completed the reopening of its “Oceania” market, “an integral piece” of the company’s pandemic recovery.

Specifics about the service

The nonstop service officially kicks off with a flight from Honolulu to Auckland on July 2. From there, Hawaiian will fly three round trips each week between the two cities.

Related: Best ways to redeem points and miles on Hawaiian Airlines

Flights from Honolulu to Auckland will run Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. The itinerary includes a mid-afternoon takeoff, and then a 9:45 p.m. arrival in Auckland the next day. Return flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays will take off just before midnight, and arrive just before 11:00 a.m. the same day.

Hawaiian will operate the service on board a 278-seat Airbus A330, which includes 18 lie-flat seats and 68 “extra comfort” seats, to go along with 192 seats in the main cabin.

You can book these flights now on the airline’s website. I was able to find a departure on the first day of nonstop service with a return the following week for $1,124.27. The outbound flight is 9 hours and 20 minutes, with the return trip scheduled to last just under nine hours.

(Screenshot courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines)

Related: Flight review: Longest U.S. domestic flight, aboard a Hawaiian Airbus A330

If you want to travel in business class, a round trip ticket is going for $3,375 currently.

The resumed service also gives you an additional option for getting to New Zealand from the continental U.S. For instance, you could fly Hawaiian from Los Angeles (LAX) with a four and a half hour layover in Honolulu before hopping on the long-haul flight to Auckland. It’s a similar itinerary on the way back to the U.S., with the round-trip ticket going for $1,814.

View of snow on the hills north of Napier in New Zealand. (Photo by Getty Images)

New Zealand reopening

While Hawaiian Airlines’ nonstop service to Auckland does not begin until mid-summer, tourists can travel to New Zealand in a few weeks on other carriers.

After keeping its borders closed to tourists for the majority of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country plan to reopen its borders to vaccinated visitors from visa-waiver countries like the U.S. beginning at 11:59 p.m. on May 1.

All foreign travelers age 17 and older must be fully vaccinated to enter the country, and anyone entering New Zealand must provide a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 48 hours prior to departure, or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of departure. There’s no self-isolation requirement upon arrival currently.

It is important to note that the CDC currently has New Zealand at Level 4: Very High Level of COVID-19 transmission, and is urging U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the country.

Related: My dream trip to New Zealand on points and miles

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
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