Air New Zealand's first non-stop flight to New York touches down at John F Kennedy International Airport


Air New Zealand's first non-stop flight to New York has arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport today.

The new route was announced in April as part of the airline's partnership with US-based United Airlines.

The first flight departed Auckland at 4pm yesterday, with a scheduled flight time of 16 hours and 15 minutes.

Minister of Tourism for New Zealand Hon Stuart Nash, Chair Dame Therese Walsh and Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran were onboard the inaugural flight, along with key tourism and travel partners.

"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," Foran said.

"By adding greater access to the East Coast of the US, we're connecting our North American customers to the possibilities of 20 destinations within New Zealand as well as the Pacific and Australia, all within easy reach."

The return journey, departing from New York at 9.55pm (local time) was expected to take 17 hours and 35 minutes, due to the difference in jet streams.

With a distance of 14,215km, it's the fourth-longest currently operating flight in the world.

The new route has been given the flight numbers NZ2 for Auckland to New York and NZ1 for New York to Auckland.

When announcing the route, CEO Greg Foran said the numbers were traditionally used for an airline's flagship route.

"And that's what New York will be - our flagship route," he said.

The flight route was serviced by Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft and the airline will operate the route three times a week.