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In case you missed it: Air NZ announces new 16 hour long-haul Auckland-Chicago flights

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.

House of Travel's Brent Thomas discussed the potential new route on TVNZ1’s Breakfast today. Source: Breakfast