Air New Zealand has announced two major changes in its international route network.
The carrier will launch a non-stop service from Auckland to New York-Newark in October 2020. After already adding Chicago to its route network in December 2018, the service to New York will be the airline’s latest and also longest flight to North America. According to Air New Zealand, the performance of its existing service to Chicago is already “exceeding expectations”. It plans to operate the new flights to New York as a year-round, three times weekly route, served by Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
Related to that, the airline will end its current route from Auckland to London Heathrow via Los Angeles. The service has been a flagship route for Air New Zealand since the launch in 1982. Jeff McDowall, Air New Zealand’s new acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), says market dynamics have affected performance in recent years. Therefore, the Los Angeles-London flights will be terminated in October 2020.
The flag-carrier of New Zealand currently operates both Boeing 787-9 and 777 aircraft on long-haul flights. Furthermore, Air New Zealand ordered eight Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft earlier this year. The deal includes options for another 12 jets of the aircraft type and the right to switch orders to the smaller 787-9.
Besides the Boeing wide-body jets, Air New Zealand’s fleet consists of Airbus A320 (both ‘ceo’ and ‘neo’ versions) and A321neo aircraft. Its subsidiaries operate turboprop airplanes on regional services.
Jarne is a Germany-based contributor for IFN.news.