First non-stop air service between New Zealand and Chicago takes flight

Air New Zealand's inaugural flight between Auckland and Chicago has taken off from Auckland International Airport this afternoon.
30 November 2018

Flight NZ26 departed around 5:00pm and is scheduled to land at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport around 1.00pm local time. With a flight time of approximately 15 hours northbound and just over 16 hours southbound, the flight is Air New Zealand's longest, taking over from Auckland-Houston which has a flight time of 13.5 hours.

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon, who is travelling on the inaugural service, says the airline's new Auckland-Chicago service means exciting new opportunities for travellers to explore the United States' third biggest city, along with more of the East Coast of the US and Canada.

"We're excited to offer our customers a direct link between New Zealand and Chicago. With our alliance partner United operating more flights out of its hub of O'Hare International Airport than any other airline, the new service to Chicago will provide customers with convenient one-stop codeshare connections to around 100 destinations across the US.

"New Zealand already welcomes around 340,000 visitors annually from the US and we anticipate this number will grow with the introduction of this new service. We expect the route will contribute around NZD$70 million annually to our economy – and we know 50 percent of spending by US visitors is done outside the main centres," says Mr Luxon.

Chicago is an exciting destination with a lot to offer from its fascinating history, world-class museums and stunning architecture to internationally-renowned jazz and blues scene, and famous dishes including the iconic deep dish pizza. 

Air New Zealand's direct Auckland-Chicago service, operated by its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, will depart Auckland on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday as follows:

Flight No.

NZ26 (UA6728)

Operated by

Air New Zealand

Aircraft type

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Departs

Auckland

20:10

Arrives

Chicago

16:15

Effective dates

2 Dec 2018 - 8 Mar 2019

Frequency

Wed, Fri, Sun


Flight No.

NZ26 (UA6728)

Operated by

Air New Zealand

Aircraft type

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Departs

Auckland

20:10

Arrives

Chicago

17:15

Effective dates

10 Mar 2019 - 29 Mar 2019

Frequency

Wed, Fri, Sun


Flight No.

NZ27 (UA6727)

Operated by

Air New Zealand

Aircraft type

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Departs

Chicago

19:10

Arrives

Auckland

06:30+2

Effective dates

30 Nov 2018 - 8 Mar 2019

Frequency

Wed, Fri, Sun


Flight No.

NZ27 (UA6727)

Operated by

Air New Zealand

Aircraft type

Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

Departs

Chicago

20:10

Arrives

Auckland

06:30+2

Effective dates

10 Mar 2019 - 29 Mar 2019

Frequency

Wed, Fri, Sun


Lonely Planet recently named the new nonstop service one of the most exciting new airline routes of 2019 in its Where to fly in 2019? The 10 most exciting new flight routes list.

Ends

Issued by Air New Zealand Communications.

Email: media@airnz.co.nz  │  Phone: +64 21 747 320  │  Twitter: @AirNZMedia