(CNN) — After 16 hours in the sky, Air New Zealand’s first ever direct flight to New York City arrived at JFK airport on September 17.
“As one of the world’s greatest cities, Air New Zealand is proud to add the Big Apple to its list of 29 international destinations,” Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran mentioned in an announcement, including that the filght connects his two favourite cities in the world.
New Zealand reopened to worldwide vacationers on July 31, 2022.
The airline’s need to safe a slot at JFK was by no means a secret.
When the flights have been introduced earlier in 2022, Foran mentioned “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.”
In addition to New York, Air New Zealand flies to 5 different locations in the United States, together with San Francisco and Honolulu.
As New York is the airline’s first (and at present solely) direct flight to the east coast, will probably be simpler for passengers from New Zealand to attach onward to North American and European hub cities.
Everything on board was made to really feel particular for the inaugural journey.
On board meals have been comprised of New Zealand meats, wines and produce, together with paua saucisson (abalone sausage), which made its airline debut.
Some New Zealand notables have been on board the flight, similar to Stuart Nash, New Zealand’s minister of tourism, former prime minister Helen Clark. Current prime minister Jacinda Arden was reportedly planning to affix however needed to go to London for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral as an alternative.
However, there was one surprising wrinkle over the weekend.
Some passengers on the NZ1 itinerary from New York to Auckland found upon touchdown that their luggage didn’t make the journey with them.
“Unfortunately given additional fuel requirements due to adverse weather, some customer bags were unable to be loaded in New York and we are getting them to New Zealand as soon as possible,” Air New Zealand COO Alex Marren informed CNN Travel.
“We are in touch with customers to update them and reunite them with their bags. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.”
The airline assures CNN that this was a one-time problem and provides, “We have processes in place to ensure our customers get to their destinations safely and try reduce disruption as much as possible during an extreme weather event.”
Air New Zealand has some heavy competitors in the battle for the world’s longest passenger flight.
The airline ordered 12 Airbus A350-1000s planes, with hopes that the ultra-long-haul routes can start working in 2025. These flights will clock in over the 19-hour mark, making them the world’s longest continuous flights.