Battle for the Big Apple: Qantas announces Auckland-New York flights, will take on Air New Zealand on flagship route

Qantas has announced it will offer a service from New York to Auckland next year.

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Qantas has announced it will offer a service from New York to Auckland next year.

Qantas has announced it will fly non-stop from Auckland to New York’s JFK Airport from June 14.

Flights will be operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with three new aircraft scheduled for delivery next year.

It will be in direct competition with Air New Zealand, who will launch a service to JFK in September, using the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Like Air New Zealand, Qantas will operate three flights a week on the route, which clocks in around 16 hours.

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The return journey is set to take about 17-and-a-half hours, making it one of the longest flights in the world.

Qantas will operate its New York flights on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, while Air New Zealand’s will operate on Monday, Thursday and Saturday.

Qantas has numbered its flights QF3 and QF4, while Air New Zealand’s are NZ1 and NZ2.

Flights went on sale on Thursday, starting from $1375 one-way for the first service on June 14. Air New Zealand has non-stop flights available that week for slightly cheaper, from $1050.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said flying via Auckland rather than Los Angeles as was previously offered by the airline would provide better connectivity from more destinations in Australia.

“We think this route will be very popular with Australians given the opportunity to connect via Auckland and it also gives New Zealanders more choice.”

Qantas currently operates six daily services to Auckland from Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne which will increase to 11 daily services when the new flight to New York launches.

Qantas also has plans to launch non-stop flights from Sydney to New York in 2025 – a route that will take about 20 hours. These flights, and other planned ultra-long-haul routes, will be operated using the fleet of 12 Airbus A350 -1000s the airline has ordered.

New Auckland Airport lounge

Qantas also has plans for a grand new Auckland Airport lounge, to tie in with the new route.

The airline’s existing two lounge spaces will be combined and redeveloped into a single Qantas International Lounge, and will also expand into an adjacent space to increase capacity by around 40%, from 244 seats to 340 seats.

The airline said the design process would begin shortly and building work would be staged so the lounge could keep operating throughout the redevelopment.

It would offer a number of features specifically tailored for long-haul travel, the airline said.

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