Air New Zealand today announced it will begin new nonstop service between Auckland and Chicago, beginning Nov. 30, 2018.
The new service announcement deepens the joint venture relationship between Air New Zealand and United Airlines. In addition to the new route announcement, United announced it 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,” says 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.”
“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.”
From Nov. 30, 2018, Air New Zealand will operate three times 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. Air New Zealand codeshare service will be offered on around 100 flights across the U.S. for convenient connections to Auckland via Chicago. United Airlines operates more flights from its hub at O’Hare International Airport than any other airline, with more than 500 flights to 147 airports across the United States.
Beginning in April 2019, United will extend service between its West Coast hub in San Francisco and Auckland to year-round with three-times-weekly service. In partnership with Air New Zealand, United’s flight arriving in Auckland will offer passengers more than 20 connections across the region. The return trip utilizes United’s extensive route network in San Francisco, which provides connections to the United States, Canada, and Latin America. United operates more than 290 daily flights from its hub at San Francisco International Airport to 79 airports across the U.S. and 26 international destinations.
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.