In March we reported on Air New Zealand’s new nonstop flights between Auckland and New York JFK, which launched this month.

As with our previous reports on the carrier’s cancellation of its London route there were many reader comments.

Air NZ’s Auckland-New York JFK service is the first time the airline has operated an ultra-long-haul (ULH) route.

And it seems the carrier is not finding it a ‘walk in the park’, especially on the New York-Auckland’s 17.5 hours sector length.

The inaugural flight was marred by adverse weather en route, which forced Air NZ to modify its routing, with the extra fuel taken on board meaning the luggage of a reported 65 passengers had to be left behind at JFK. reported aviation commentator Irene King as saying that:

“The issue with New York is that the aircraft [the B787-9] is right at the upper limit of its flight envelope, so there’s less room for tradeoff. You have to take off bags and put on fuel.”

One solution would have been for Air NZ to have stopped en route in Fiji to collect extra fuel.

But this particular flight was already two hours late leaving JFK, and an en route stop would have delayed its Auckland arrival by several hours.

Added Irene King, “I do think they have to pick up the customer service messaging about the potential risks”.

Stuff reported King as saying that Air NZ should make it clear to travellers that its “nonstop” service might sometimes involve baggage delays or stopovers.

Air NZ has adopted the same prestigious flight numbers for Auckland-New York as it used for Auckland-London: NZ 1 and NZ 2.

What about the routing? After departing JFK this particular flight headed southwest over Houston, the Gulf of Mexico, Mexico and then down over the Pacific to Auckland.

No complaints about the onboard business class service as travel blogger Sam Chui reports in detail.

Qantas could face a similar challenge when it launches its Sydney-Auckland-New York service in June 2023, which is also set to be operated with B787 aircraft.

Qantas to launch nonstop Auckland-JFK service