The rival airline’s brutal dig at Qantas accusing the embattled airline of COPYING its new direct flight to New York – here’s what to expect on the 16-hour flight
- Air New Zealand has introduced long-haul flights from Auckland to New York
- Flights to JFK Airport started on Saturday and take just over 16 hours
- Kiwi Airline boss Greg Foran joked about Qantas’ attempt on the route
- Qantas won’t launch long-haul flights to New York until June next year
Air New Zealand has mocked Qantas for being beaten at the launch of a direct flight from Auckland to New York.
The long-haul flight, which started Saturday at Auckland Airport, will take just over 16 hours to reach John F Kennedy International Airport.
It is the latest in a series of long-haul flights offered by airlines around the world that offset the need to stop at another airport to refuel.
Air New Zealand has launched long-haul flights from Auckland Airport (pictured) to New York’s JFK Airport
Air New Zealand’s achievement is a win for the airline over Qantas, which will not launch 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 as he prepares his airline to embark on its maiden 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 do that at this stage… They don’t really have a plane at this stage that can go the distance.
“So trying to set something up makes sense. We compete with them on almost every route, so welcome them. The competition is good, and we’ll give them a good wave as we pass them in the air.”
Air New Zealand has scheduled three long-haul flights weekly 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 scheduled three long-haul flights weekly from Auckland to New York City (pictured). It takes just over 16 hours to reach John F. Kennedy International Airport
Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran said he was “not surprised” that Qantas tried the same route, but joked that the Kiwi airline would give their Australian rival “a good wave if we pass them in the air” (pictured, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce)
The route is one of the fastest and easiest ways for Australians to get to New York before Qantas launches its own flights in 2023.
Australians on the east coast take a total of about 20 hours to get to JFK Airport. Those flying from Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne will have a three to four hour flight to Auckland followed by the long journey.
In comparison, most regular trips from Sydney to New York take an average of between 24 and 27 hours.
Mr Foran said the achievement was an extraordinary milestone and one that the Kiwi airline had been working on for four years.
He explained that Air New Zealand would improve their cabin service and the ‘on board experience’ so that passengers feel comfortable for the journey and arrive in New York ‘feeling refreshed’.