Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner landed at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) on September 17, 2022, after the carrier’s first direct flight to New York.
The flight took off from Auckland Airport (AKL) at 4:08 AM GMT and landed at JFK almost sixteen hours later, after covering over 14,000 kilometers (8,700 miles).
New Zealand’s Minister of Tourism Hon Stuart Nash, Chair Dame Therese Walsh, and the CEO of Air New Zealand Greg Foran were onboard the flight, according to the airline’s press release.
The new flight is going to be operated three times per week. It is the longest flight route for Air New Zealand and fifth longest in the world, just behind Qantas Airways Melbourne – Dallas and Emirates Dubai – Auckland.
The flight received the number NZ 2, with the flight back from JFK to AKL becoming NZ 1. According to Foran, the numbers are traditionally reserved to airline’s flagship routes.
Originally intended to launch in 2020, the new flight was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.