(CNN) — For the first time in its history, Air New Zealand is offering direct flights between Auckland and New York City.
The flights from Auckland will operate as NZ2 and the ones originating from New York’s JFK airport will be numbered NZ1. Those numbers symbolize just how important the new route is to Air New Zealand (ANZ).
“Traditionally, flight numbers 1 and 2 are used for an airline’s flagship route. And that’s what New York will be — our flagship route,” the airline’s CEO, Greg Foran, said in a statement.
Each leg will operate three times a week on Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Tickets are already on sale on ANZ’s website.
Travelers from New Zealand will depart Auckland Airport (AKL) at 7:40 p.m., then spend 16 hours on board before finally arriving at JFK. Flights leaving JFK for Auckland will clock in at 17 hours and 35 minutes, thus adding it to the list of the world’s longest flights.
“We’ve worked incredibly hard over the last few years to make this ultra long-haul service a reality,” Foran added. “To ensure customers arrive in New York feeling refreshed, we’ve put a lot of thought into the onboard experience and teams are working around the clock to make sure this a great flying experience.”
Also in contention for one of the world’s longest routes is the flight from Perth in Western Australia to London on Qantas. It resumes at the end of March after a pandemic-related pause.
The pandemic was responsible for many aviation-related records.
Normally, that flight involves a stopover in Los Angeles, but travel restrictions made that impossible and caused the airline to push through the entire journey without risking a stop.
Air New Zealand already operates several itineraries between its homeland and the United States — directs to Chicago, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco — as well as one to Vancouver just north of the border in British Columbia, Canada.