Air New Zealand resumes Chicago direct service as last route to restart post-COVID-19

Air New Zealand relaunched its Auckland-Chicago direct service on October 30, 2022 (local time), after halting it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo credit: Getty Images

Air New Zealand has resumed the final of its international services that was halted due to COVID-19.

The airline restarted its Auckland-Chicago direct route on Sunday, marking the return of all 29 global routes it operated pre-pandemic.

A new international menu was also launched by the airline on Sunday which includes the likes of paua, smoked duck and seared salmon.

Air NZ is operating a Boeing 787 Dreamliner on its tri-weekly Auckland-Chicago flights, which departs both cities on the evenings of Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. 

"Since New Zealand's borders reopened, we've been slowly resuming services and to now be flying to all our international destinations is a milestone moment for us," said the airline's chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty.

"Customers flying into Chicago O'Hare International will benefit from convenient one-stop codeshare connections to around 100 destinations across the US via the airline's strong partnership with United Airlines. This resumed service also adds to Chicago O'Hare International's ranking as the most connected airport in the world."

The paua on the menu comes in the form of an amuse-bouche of New Zealand abalone sausage with herb cream and tomato, available on Business Premier flights to Chicago. In the same cabin on return flights, the paua is replaced with smoked duck with dried persimmon with a horseradish cream and balsamic glaze.

The airline said its new menu also features seared salmon from Marlborough, free-range chicken from Waikato and salads made with produce from Gisborne, Waikato and the Manawatū for its Premium customers.

The 29 international destinations are listed below, along with Bali (also announced today), which is a seasonal service and hence not counted:


  • Taipei, Taiwan
  • Seoul, Korea
  • Shanghai, China
  • Narita, Japan
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • Bali, Indonesia.

North America

  • San Francisco
  • Los Angeles
  • Honolulu
  • Vancouver
  • Houston 
  • New York
  • Chicago.

Pacific Islands

  • Rarotonga
  • Fiji
  • Niue
  • Samoa
  • Tonga
  • Tahiti
  • New Caledonia.


  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Brisbane
  • Perth
  • Gold Coast
  • Cairns
  • Sunshine Coast
  • Adelaide
  • Hobart.