Rival airline’s cheeky dig at Qantas accusing the embattled carrier of COPYING its new direct flight to New York – here’s what you can expect on the 16hour flight
- Air New Zealand has introduced long-haul flights from Auckland to New York
- Flights to JFK Airport commenced on Saturday and it takes just over 16 hours
- The Kiwi Airline’s boss Greg Foran joked about Qantas’ attempt at the route
- Qantas won’t be launching long-haul flights to New York until June next year
Air New Zealand has mocked Qantas for getting beaten to the punch on launching a direct flight from Auckland to New York.
The long-haul flight, which commenced take-off at Auckland Airport on Saturday, takes just over 16 hours to reach John F Kennedy International Airport.
It’s the latest in a series of long-haul flights being brought forward by airlines across the globe that offsets the need to stop in another airport for refuelling.
Air New Zealand has commenced long-haul flights from Auckland Airport (pictured) to JFK Airport in New York
The feat from Air New Zealand is a win for the airline over Qantas, whose won’t be launching long-haul flights to New York from Australia until June next year.
‘I’m not surprised by Qantas,’ chief executive Greg Foran said at Auckland Airport in preparation for his airline commencing their first flight to New York.
‘Why wouldn’t they? At some point under their Project Sunrise they would like to be able to go direct, they just don’t have the metal to be able to do that at this stage … They don’t actually have a plane at this stage that can do the distance.
‘So trying to set something up is something that makes sense. We compete with them in almost every route so, welcome them on. Competition is good, and we will give them a good wave when we pass them in the skies.’
Air New Zealand has three long-haul flights scheduled every week from Auckland to New York City on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
The flight is one of the longest routes in the world.
The Kiwi has three long-haul flights scheduled every week from Auckland to New York City (pictured). It will take just over 16 hours to reach John F. Kennedy International Airport
Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said that he ‘wasn’t surprised’ that Qantas was attempting the same route but joked that the Kiwi airline would be giving their Australian rival ‘a good wave when we pass them in the skies’ (pictured, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce)
The route is one of the quickest, simplest ways for Australians to head to New York before Qantas launches its own flights in 2023.
It will take Australians on the east coast about 20 hours in total to get to JFK Airport. Those flying in from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne will have a three to four-hour flight to Auckland followed by the long-haul journey.
By comparison, most regular trips from Sydney to New York take between 24 and 27 hours on average.
Mr Foran said the feat was an extraordinary milestone and one the Kiwi airline had been working on for four years.
He explained that Air New Zealand would be upgrading their cabin service and the ‘on-board experience’ so passengers are comfortable for the journey and arrive in New York ‘feeling refreshed’.