Qantas today announced that it will launch a new route from Australia to New York, via Auckland.
It will resume flights to New York three days a week initially, after a three-year Covid-induced hiatus, with new service starting in June next year.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce made the announcement Thursday during the airline’s full annual results for 2022.
Joyce announced that Qantas Group had an underlying pre-tax loss of nearly $1.9 billion and a statutory pre-tax loss of just under $1.2 billion, bringing the airline’s total losses since the start of the pandemic to more than $7 billion and brings lost revenue to more than $25 billion.
Joyce said the new route is made possible by the delivery of new aircraft, with flights to be operated by its Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with three new aircraft scheduled for delivery next year.
“Customer feedback on our direct services from London and Rome shows how well our Dreamliner cabins are suited for longer international flights like these, which is aided by the fact that we designed them with more space and fewer seats than most of our competitors,” Joyce said. in a sentence.
He explained that flying via Auckland would provide “better connectivity” from more destinations in Australia, ahead of a 16-hour uninterrupted flight to New York.
“We think this route will be very popular with Australians given the opportunity to connect through Auckland and also gives New Zealanders more choice,” he adds.
While the new route launches in June next year, the flights are on sale starting today.
However, Air New Zealand has also announced the exact same route with its passengers being able to fly direct to New York from September 17 this year.
It is the airline’s first direct ultra-long-haul flight from New Zealand to the Big Apple.
Flights from Auckland will operate as NZ2 and those originating from New York’s JFK Airport will be numbered NZ1.
“Traditionally, flight numbers 1 and 2 are used for an airline’s main route. And that’s what New York will be: our primary route,” the airline’s chief executive officer, Greg Foran, said in a statement.
Each leg will operate three times a week on Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Tickets are already on sale on the ANZ website.
The flight will take 16 hours from Auckland to JFK and it will take around 17 hours and 35 minutes from New York to Auckland.
Currently, the longest passenger flight in the world is between Singapore and JFK on Singapore Airlines. It covers 9,534 miles and spends about 18 hours in the air.
But the flight route will be the longest in the world, with passengers expected to spend at least 20 hours in the air non-stop before reaching their destination: Qantas direct flights between Sydney and Melbourne to London and New York will begin from the end of 2025.
Qantas currently operates six daily services to Auckland from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, which will increase to 11 daily services when the recently announced Sydney to Auckland to New York flight launches.
Joyce said the airline will invest millions to upgrade its lounge at Auckland International, as well as at Adelaide, Port Hedland and Rockhampton.
“It will offer much more space and, like all of our offshore lounges, will feature the best of local design, food and wine,” he said.
Initial plans for the renovation were stalled by the pandemic, but the airline will soon start work on combining the two existing lounge spaces to make it a single Qantas international lounge.