Air New Zealand launches first non-stop route from New Zealand to Chicago

The carrier will operate non-stop service between Auckland and Chicago O’Hare from November this year

New Zealand’s flag carrier and 2018’s best airline according to AirlineRatings, Air New Zealand, are to launch the first ever flight between New Zealand and Chicago.

The non-stop route from Auckland to Chicago O’Hare International airport will take off from 30 November. The journey will last approximately 15 hours northbound and just over 16 hours southbound.

“We expect the addition of Chicago to our network to be an attractive option for Kiwis wanting to explore the city or head on to other North American destinations,” Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon said.

“As well as being great for travellers, this new route is good news for New Zealand, as we expect it to contribute around NZD$70 million annually to our economy and we know that more than 50 per cent of spending by US visitors to New Zealand is done outside of the main centres.”

“We’ll be working alongside our colleagues at United Airlines to grow the route and visitor numbers in both directions,” Luxon added.

According to the carrier’s statement, the cooperation with United will allow travellers from New Zealand to have convenient one-stop codeshare connections to around 100 destinations across the US. United operates more flights out of its Chicago hub than any other airline.

“By adding Chicago to the Air New Zealand route network, and with United’s increased service between San Francisco and Auckland, we are proud to offer our customers more ways to get between the United States and New Zealand and more connection opportunities in those cities than any other airline in the world,” said United’s international network vice president Patrick Quayle.

“Today’s announcements are great examples of the customer benefits that result from the strong, strategic alliance and partnership between United Airlines and Air New Zealand,” he added.