Beginning in November of this year, Air New Zealand will launch non-stop flights between Vancouver, Canada and Auckland, New Zealand.With the announcement of this new international route, Air New Zealand is making a significant step in its focus on strengthening its trans-Pacific network.
The service will initially operate between November 2, 2007 and March 28, 2008 to coincide with the peak travel season between the two destinations, allowing Canadians to escape the snow by enjoying outdoor adventures in New Zealand’s warmest summer months and giving Kiwis an opportunity to head north and take advantage of some of the best ski slopes in the world.
“We are committed to creating at least one new long haul international destination each year and Vancouver proved an ideal strategic fit, due in part to Canada’s thriving economy,” said Roger Poulton, Air New Zealand Vice President - the Americas. “At any one time, we have more than 20 routes under consideration as part of our long-term strategy to grow the airline.”
Last year, Air New Zealand became one of the select carriers to offer round-the-world flights with the announcement of its non-stop flights between London and Hong Kong completing the loop; and in 2005, the airline widened its west coast gateway with non-stops flights from San Francisco to Auckland.
“In 2006, Canadians set a new record with 46,000 travelers visiting New Zealand, which marks an increase of more than 10,000 visitors in just a little more than five years,” said Bruce Lahood, Tourism New Zealand Vice President for North America. “But even more importantly, according to a survey focused on Canadian travelers in January of 2006, 99 percent returned home satisfied with their vacation to New Zealand and more than 95 percent would recommend the destination to their friends, family and colleagues.”
Air New Zealand is going to help make that recommendation even more appealing with three non-stop flights each week between Vancouver and Auckland. The new route reduces travel time to a little over 14 hours, whereas previous itineraries from Vancouver to New Zealand totalled an average of around twenty hours. Now, passengers will be treated to a luxuriously direct flight aboard Air New Zealand’s new fleet of Boeing 777-200ERs, which feature lie-flat beds, vast entertainment options and award-winning food and wine. Star Alliance partner Air Canada will also be code sharing on this service.
Flight schedules from Vancouver will leave on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and are designed to meet the needs of both business and leisure passengers with an early evening departure time.
This new service will provide a convenient one-stop route for Canadians travelling to many Australian destinations and will minimize the requirement of transiting through the U.S.