Air New Zealand is heading to Chicago

29 Mar 2018 by Craig Bright

Air New Zealand is adding Chicago to its list of North America destinations with new non-stop flights between Auckland and Chicago O’Hare International Airport set to take off on November 30.

The new service will fly three times a week on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, taking approximately 15 hours when departing Auckland and just over 16 hours when leaving Chicago.

Air New Zealand will be flying its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner on the route. Back in October 2017, the airline took delivery of its new-look Dreamliners that feature an increased number of premium seats over its previous Dreamliners, most notably an increase in Business Premier from 18 to 27 seats and premium economy from 21 to 33 seats. This aircraft made its international long-haul debut on the airline’s Auckland-Houston route back in December.

Air New Zealand B787-9 Business Premier

“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,” said Christopher Luxon, CEO of Air New Zealand.

“As well as being great for travellers, this new route is good news for New Zealand, as we expect it to contribute around NZ$70 million annually to our economy and we know that more than 50 per cent of spending by US visitors to New Zealand is done outside the main centres. We’ll be working alongside our colleagues at United Airlines to grow the route and visitor numbers in both directions.”

Travellers flying into Chicago with Air New Zealand will be able to connect onto codeshare flights operated by United to more than 100 destinations across the US.

The full schedule for the new service is as follows:

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days Dates
NZ26/UA6728 Auckland (AKL) Chicago (ORD) 2010 1615 Wed, Fri, Sun Nov 30, 2018-Mar 8, 2019
1715 10 Mar, 2019-29 Mar, 2019
NZ27/UA6727 Chicago (ORD) Auckland (AKL) 1910 0630+2 Wed, Fri, Sun Nov 30, 2018-Mar 8, 2019
2010 Mar 10, 2019-Mar 29, 2019

The launch of Air New Zealand’s new Chicago service also coincides with partner United Airlines’ extension of its seasonal Auckland-San Francisco route, which will become a year-round thrice-weekly service as of April 2019. United began flying the route using its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft back in October 2017, which notably feature its new Polaris business class seats.

That said, the B777-300ER will only operate the Auckland-San Francisco route from November to March. Between April and October, the route will be flown using the B777-200ER.

Business Traveller reviewed United’s Polaris business class seats on the airline’s San Francisco-Hong Kong route last year.

Flight review: United B777-300ER Polaris Business;

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