First ever air service to take off between New Zealand and Chicago, USA

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Air New Zealand will launch a new non-stop service between Auckland and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport from November 2018.

The new service deepens the alliance between Air New Zealand and United Airlines. In addition to the new route announcement, United has announced it will extend its seasonal service between Auckland and San Francisco to year-round from April 2019.

© Maarten Van Den Driessche

From November 30, 2018, Air New Zealand will operate the new route three times weekly, year-round with its new configuration Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. Flight time will be approximately 15 hours northbound and just over 16 hours southbound.

With 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 code share connections to around 100 destinations across the US.

Chicago is an exciting destination with a lot to offer from its incredible history, museums and architecture to world-renowned jazz music and famous dishes including the iconic deep dish pizza.

“We expect the addition of Chicago to our network to be an attractive option for Kiwis wanting to explore the city or head on to other North American destinations,” says Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon. “As well as being great for travellers, this new route is good news for New Zealand, as we expect it to contribute around NZD$70 million annually to our economy and we know that more than 50 percent of spending by US visitors to New Zealand is done outside of the main centres. We’ll be working alongside our colleagues at United Airlines to grow the route and visitor numbers in both directions.”

“By adding Chicago to the Air New Zealand route network, and with United’s increased service between San Francisco and Auckland, we are proud to offer our customers more ways to get between the United States and New Zealand and more connection opportunities in those cities than any other airline in the world,” said United’s International Network Vice President Patrick Quayle. “Today’s announcements are great examples of the customer benefits that result from the strong, strategic alliance and partnership between United Airlines and Air New Zealand.”

Beginning with the Northern Summer 2019 season, United will extend its service between Auckland and its West Coast hub in San Francisco to year-round, introducing a three times weekly service, complementing Air New Zealand’s existing daily year-round service on the route. United’s service will be operated by its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft featuring United Polaris business class service between November and March and Boeing 777-200ER aircraft between April and October. United operates more than 290 daily flights from San Francisco to 79 airports across the US and 26 international destinations.

Since Air New Zealand and United commenced their alliance in 2016, the joint venture has opened up more travel options for New Zealand and US travellers than ever before. Overall passenger volumes have grown and more than 30 percent of customers travelling to the US connect to United’s broad domestic network from its hubs in Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Air New Zealand’s new flights to Chicago and United’s expanded Auckland – San Francisco service are on sale today at airnewzealand.co.nz and from Saturday 31 March (NZ time) at united.com.

The new Auckland – Chicago Northern Winter 2018 schedule from 30 November 2018 is as follows:

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