New Zealand flag carrier, has launched a new 17-hour flight between Auckland and New York. This will be the fourth-longest route worldwide, with its inaugural flight scheduled for Sep. 17.
Last week, New Zealand announced it will reopen its borders to some international travelers sooner than expected, prompting Air New Zealand to make the move.
“The U.S. has always been a key market for us, and this new route cements our commitment to growing opportunities for tourism between the two countries,” Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said in a press release Tuesday.
“In the six years leading up to COVID, the U.S. visitor numbers to New Zealand doubled so we expect our much-awaited non-stop service to be incredibly strong year-round.”
The airline will operate the route three times a week, year-round, with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The aircraft will feature “more premium seats than other Dreamliners in the airline’s fleet,” with 27 seats in business class, 33 in premium economy, 215 in economy, and 13 in economy skycouches.
Early birds can book their tickets from now. The red-eye flight is already scheduled for 9:55 p.m. Eastern Time from New York. Flights from Auckland to New York will depart at 7:40 p.m. local time.
Who is invited? – According to the government’s announcement only foreign tourists from visa-waiver countries will be allowed to visit New Zealand in the first stage.
To be admitted, they must be fully vaccinated and able to produce a negative pre-departure Covid-19 test.
Upon arrival, visitors will receive two rapid antigen tests. The first test should be taken on the day of arrival and the second on the fifth or sixth day.
Face masks will be still required in most indoor settings, including public transport.
However, New Zealand’s Prime Minister has stated that the requirement for locals and visitors to present a vaccination card in order to enter restaurants, bars, hotels, and similar establishments will be scrapped before the country reopens to tourism.