Air New Zealand launches new Auckland to New York route
We're still eagerly awaiting Qantas's direct Sydney to New York flights but in the meantime, Air New Zealand has unveiled its own sneaky new non-stop route, just in time for Christmas 2020 in the Big Apple.
Auckland to New York flights are set to start on 29 October 2020 and will be the first non-stop flight between Australasia and New York.
The new route is not quite as ambitious as Qantas's but many might appreciate the chance to stretch their legs on what is usually a quick stopover in Auckland Airport. Not to mention avoiding the nightmare involved in rechecking your bags in LAX.
Air New Zealand plans to operate Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays between Auckland and Newark Liberty International Airport using its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The flight time will be 15 hours, 40 minutes northbound and 17 hours, 40 minutes southbound.
How does this flight compare to Qantas's?
The quickest option from Australia is with Qantas, clocking in at 21 hours, 20 minutes there and 22 hours, 35 minutes back with stops in Los Angeles.
For Air New Zealand, the fastest flights from Sydney to New York are 21 hours, 40 minutes there and 23 hours, 35 minutes back. That's slightly longer than Qantas though not by much and you'll stop by Auckland instead of Los Angeles.
In terms of price, say you want to spend two weeks in New York for both Christmas and New Year, you're currently looking at a hefty $3,607 with Air New Zealand. Compare that to Qantas's $2,309 and Asiana Airlines's $1,766 for the same period.
Non-peak periods are a lot more reasonable and we've found prices as low as $1,526 for the new route.
Auckland–Newark (NZ2) departs at 7:55pm and arrives at 5:35pm while the return leg (NZ1) departs Newark at 7:05pm and arrives in Auckland at 6:45am (+ 2 days). There's likely to be a variation of timings due to daylight saving time.
If you're keen to book in your holiday season travels it'll help to know that Air New Zealand fares are available up to 350 days in advance. Which means that as of today, you can book flights between Auckland and New York through to 4 January 2021.
To secure your spot on this new route, head over to Air New Zealand to check out all the options.