Travellers flying Air New Zealand between Auckland and Taipei can now do so directly without the need to stopover in Hong Kong following the launch today of the carrier’s inaugural non-stop flight between the two cities.

The new service, operated by the airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, means that Air New Zealand now flies its own metal all the way to Taipei. Previously, travellers could only fly with the airline between Auckland and Hong Kong, and would need to connect onto onward flights to Taipei operated by Cathay Pacific.

Speaking about the new service, Air New Zealand’s chief revenue officer, Cam Wallace, notes that demand has been steadily growing on its services between Auckland and Taipei, particularly around Chinese New Year.

“New Zealand already welcomes around 42,000 visitors annually from the Taiwan market and we expect this number will grow further,” he said.

“With a flight time of just over 11 hours, we also expect Kiwis will be keen to check out this new Asian destination.”

The 11-hour flight cuts at least three hours from the journey by eliminating the need for a Hong Kong stopover.

There do appear to have been some changes to the service since it was first announced back in February, however, notably regarding frequency. Initially planned as a five-times-weekly service, flights are currently only flying three times per week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

Flight No. From To Departs Arrives Days
NZ77 Auckland (AKL) Taipei (TPE) 1035 1650 Tue, Thu, Sat
NZ78 Taipei (TPE) Auckland (AKL) 1830 1020+1

Back in October last year, Air New Zealand took delivery of the first of its four new-layout B787-9s, which feature more business class and premium economy seating and fewer economy seats than its older variants.