TravelNewsAsia.com
Wed, 28 March 2018

Air New Zealand and United Airlines to Launch Flights Between Chicago and Auckland

Air New Zealand has unveiled plans to launch nonstop flights between Auckland and Chicago, beginning 30 November 2018.

The new service deepens the joint venture relationship between Air New Zealand and United Airlines. In addition to the new route announcement, United will extend its seasonal service between San Francisco and Auckland to year-round beginning April 2019.

"We expect the addition of Chicago to our network to be an attractive option for Americans keen to explore New Zealand and Kiwis wanting to visit Chicago or head on to other North American destinations," said Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon. "As well as being great for travelers, this new route is also good news for New Zealand, as we expect it to contribute around $70 million annually to our economy, and we know that more than 50 percent of spending by U.S. visitors is done outside of the main centers. We'll be working alongside our colleagues at United Airlines to grow the route and visitor numbers in both directions."

Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 reg: ZK-NZF at Narita Airport new Tokyo, Japan. Click to enlarge.

From 30 November 2018, Air New Zealand will operate thrice weekly, year-round service with its new configuration Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Flight time will be approximately 15 hours northbound and just over 16 hours southbound.

Beginning in April 2019, United will extend service between its West Coast hub in San Francisco and Auckland to year-round with a thrice weekly service. In partnership with Air New Zealand, United's flight arriving in Auckland will offer passengers more than 20 connections across the region.

United service between San Francisco and Auckland will operate with a Boeing 777-300ER between November and March and will operate with Boeing 777-200ER aircraft between April and October.

Since United and Air New Zealand began their alliance in 2016, the joint venture has opened up more travel options for U.S. and New Zealand travelers than ever before. Overall passenger volumes have grown as customers traveling from New Zealand to the U.S. connect to United's broad domestic network from its hubs in Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

"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.

Air New Zealand's new flights to Chicago are now available on the airline's website and will be available on Friday, 30 March 2018 on United's wesbite. Tickets for the expanded San Francisco schedule will be available on the airline's websites later this year.

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