Sunday, 2 December 2018

Air New Zealand launches Auckland - Chicago service

Another very long distance flight took off this weekend as Air New Zealand inaugurated its new service between Auckland and Chicago. 

Flight NZ26 departed a few seconds after 1700 on Friday, November 30th from Auckland International Airport landing in Chicago's O'Hare International Airport at 1233, just under half an hour early.  The flight time of14 hours 32 minutes slightly ahead of its estimated 15 hours northbound schedule. The route has a southbound flight time of 16 hours is Air New Zealand's longest flight, taking over from Auckland-Houston which has a flight time of 13.5 hours.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon, who is travelling on the inaugural service, says the airline's new Auckland-Chicago service means exciting new opportunities for travellers to explore the United States' third biggest city, along with more of the East Coast of the US and Canada.

"We're excited to offer our customers a direct link between New Zealand and Chicago. With our alliance partner, United operating more flights out of its hub of O'Hare International Airport than any other airline, the new service to Chicago will provide customers with convenient one-stop codeshare connections to around 100 destinations across the US.

"New Zealand already welcomes around 340,000 visitors annually from the US and we anticipate this number will grow with the introduction of this new service. We expect the route will contribute around NZD$70 million annually to our economy – and we know 50% of spending by US visitors is done outside the main centres," says Mr Luxon.

Chicago is an exciting destination with a lot to offer from its fascinating history, world-class museums and stunning architecture to internationally-renowned jazz and blues scene, and famous dishes including the iconic deep dish pizza. 

Air New Zealand's direct Auckland-Chicago service, operated by its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, will depart Auckland on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday as follows: