Air New Zealand's 'American Dream' back on the table as work starts on non-stop New York flights

Plans were shelved due to COVID-19.
Plans were shelved due to COVID-19. Photo credit: Getty Images/Newshub

Had COVID-19 never developed and taken over the world, Air New Zealand would be well and truly established operating its Auckland to New York non-stop flights by now.

But as the pandemic took over, even the thought of flying to New York seemed unattainable.

If the world of aviation were a Monopoly board, then New York would be Mayfair (or Queen Street for those who play the New Zealand version).

Now a recent statement from Air New Zealand's CEO Greg Foran may have just put the big apple back on the table.

"Work is well underway around the airline planning for our inaugural flight to New York, with a team working to get this route up and running next year," Foran said.

Next year feels both so close and so far at the same time, but at least New York is back on the table.

"Customers can expect us to be back in business to our key markets like the USA, Japan, China and obviously Australia and the Pacific Islands," Foran said.

"We won't be returning to London nor Buenos Aires in the near term but have ensured that our strong relationships with our Alliance partners remain in place, such as Singapore and United Airlines. Of course, we keep our radar tuned to any other opportunities that may be presented."

When the service which was meant to launch in 2020 was first announced, we learned a lot about what to expect from the historical route.

The service would fly between Newark Liberty International Airport and Auckland International Airport using Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

The route will use the iconic NZ1 and NZ2 flight numbers which used to be associated with the airline's services to London via Los Angeles before they were cut.

Onward connections to London will be available through Air NZ's alliance partner, United Airlines.

The route is 14,207km and flight time is expected to be 15 hours 40 minutes northbound and 17 hours 40 minutes southbound.