There’s been a lot happening at Air New Zealand recently (don’t mention the rugby!), so here’s a quick run down on what will be happening on the runway.
More long-haul leg room
From late 2020, Air New Zealand will introduce Economy Stretch on its Boeing 777-200, 777-300 and 787-9 aircraft long haul routes. The Economy Stretch zone will provide extra legroom in a 35-inch pitch seat. Other perks include premium headsets, pillows and free onboard wifi.
It’s a more competitively priced leg up for travellers who don’t want to pay for the full premium cabin experience. The first Economy Stretch seats are expected to be available for booking early next year.
Non-stop to New York
Air New Zealand has announced a new non-stop service between Auckland and New York. Flying time for this 14,178 route is expected to be 15 hours 40 minutes northbound and 17 hours 40 mins southbound. Their 787-9 Dreamliner will fly the world’s fifth-longest sector three time a week to Newark Liberty International Airport from 29 October, 2020.
“Our non-stop flight will cut travel time by around three hours, putting New Zealand in easy reach of New York and the US Eastern Seaboard,” says Air New Zealand Acting Chief Executive Officer Jeff McDowall. “It’s terrific we can make a seamless journey a reality for Kiwis wanting to experience New York and Americans keen to explore New Zealand and we’ll work with United to grow the route and visitor numbers in both directions.”
This flight also marks Air NZ’s sixth US non-stop destination, joining Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago and Honolulu.
This news comes alongside the airline’s decision to cease their Los Angeles to London flights. They have dropped the highly competitive Atlantic route to focus on routes that have greater potential to deliver long-term profitable growth.
Ramping up regional services
Air New Zealand is adding capacity to some regional routes in December, following Jetstar’s withdrawal of its regional services.
The airline will operate an additional 253 one-way flights in December on services it operates between Auckland and Napier, New Plymouth, Nelson and Palmerston North, as well as between Nelson and Wellington.
Air New Zealand Chief Revenue Officer Cam Wallace says the airline has been looking at ways to help support the routes affected by Jetstar’s withdrawal.
“Air services are extremely important for regional New Zealand, particularly over the busy holiday period, so we’re pleased to be able to step in and add capacity to the routes impacted.
“These additional services during the month of December reflect an increase of more than 15,500 extra seats to and from regional New Zealand. We are also continuing to look at additional capacity on our regional services post December.”
Air New Zealand is also assisting affected Jetstar customers who have refunded their Jetstar flight. You can contact CBT for help with Jetstar refunds.