(CNN) – After 16 hours in the sky, Air New Zealand’s first direct flight to New York City arrived at JFK on September 17.
“As one of the world’s greatest cities, Air New Zealand is proud to add the Big Apple to its list of 29 international destinations,” Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said in a statement, adding that the film links his two favorite cities in the United States. Globalism.
New Zealand reopened to international tourists on July 31, 2022.
The airline’s desire to secure a place at JFK was no secret at all.
When the flights were announced earlier in 2022, Foran said, “Traditionally, flight numbers 1 and 2 are used on an airline’s main route. That’s what New York will be – our main route.”
In addition to New York, Air New Zealand flies to five other destinations in the United States, including San Francisco and Honolulu.
Since New York is the airline’s first (and currently only) direct flight to the East Coast, it will be easier for travelers from New Zealand to connect to North American and European cities.
Everything on board is designed to be special for your inauguration flight.
Meals on board consisted of meat, wine and New Zealand produce, including pawa sauison (abalone sausage), which debuted on the airline.
Some New Zealand notables were on the flight, such as Stuart Nash, New Zealand’s Minister of Tourism, and former Prime Minister Helen Clark. The current prime minister, Jacinda Arden, was reportedly planning to join but had to go to London for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral instead.
However, there was one unexpected wrinkle over the weekend.
Some passengers on the NZ1 itinerary from New York to Auckland discovered upon landing that their bags had not carried the flight with them.
“Unfortunately, due to additional fuel requirements due to bad weather, some customers’ bags have not been able to be loaded in New York and we are moving them to New Zealand as soon as possible,” Alex Marin, director of operations for Air New Zealand, told CNN Travel.
“We are in contact with customers to update them and reunite them with their bags. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.”
The airline confirms to CNN that this was a one-time issue and adds, “We have processes in place to ensure our customers reach their destinations safely and try to minimize disruption as much as possible during a severe weather event.”
Air New Zealand faces some stiff competition in the battle for the world’s longest passenger flight.
The airline has ordered 12 Airbus A350-1000s, with the hope that ultra-long-haul routes will start operating in 2025. These flights will take more than 19 hours, making them the world’s longest non-stop flight.
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