Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Air New Zealand (ANZ) announced its new flight route between Auckland and New York City. The long-haul route is set to launch on September 17, 2022 from Auckland. It signals 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 adds to the list of the world’s longest flights. The flight departing from Auckland Airport (AKL) at 7:40pm will spend 16 hours in the air before finally arriving at JFK. Flights leaving JFK for 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 as of writing runs between Singapore and JFK on Singapore Airlines, covering 9,534 miles and flying 18 hours.
The flight from Perth in Western Australia to London on Qantas is also battling for one of the world’s longest routes. It resumes at the end of March after a pause caused by the pandemic.
When launched, Qantas’ direct flight between Sydney and London, dubbed “Project Sunrise,” will clock in at over 19 hours. It may easily claim the number one spot for longest flight. However, the project was halted 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.
Air Tahiti Nui was recorded to fly the longest ever scheduled passenger flight by distance in March 2020, flying 9,765 miles from Papeete, French Polynesia to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle.
That flight normally involves a stopover in los Angeles, but travel restrictions made it impossible and the airline pushed through the entire 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 one to Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.