Auckland Airport has welcomed the announcement by Air New Zealand today that it will launch a direct, year-round service between Auckland and Chicago at the end of the year.
From November 30, 2018 Air New Zealand will fly three times per week between Auckland and Chicago with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The new flights will provide the first non-stop service between Auckland and Chicago. Chicago, Illinois, is the third largest city in the United States with a population of almost 10 million people in the wider metropolitan area.
Scott Tasker, Auckland Airport's general manager aeronautical commercial said in a statement today: "The announcement is great news for New Zealand and will introduce a new region of North America to non-stop flights to New Zealand for the first time.
"The new service will provide more than 85,000 seats on the route and inject around $70 million annually into the New Zealand economy.
"This flight will also provide a convenient service for New Zealand and Australian travellers flying from or via Auckland to the north-eastern United States and Canada."
Chicago O'Hare Airport is the major hub of Air New Zealand's partner United Airlines, who offers connectivity to around 100 cities in the north-eastern United States region and Canada such as New York, Boston, Toronto and Montreal.
At over 13,000km one way, this will be Air New Zealand's longest route with a flight time of approximately 15 hours northbound and just over 16 hours southbound.