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Air New Zealand Returns to Chicago O’Hare

The New Zealand flag carrier has resumed its three-weekly nonstop flights between Auckland and Chicago

by Fergus Cole

November 1, 2022

Hall of Flags at Chicago O'Hare International Airport / Photo: Rosamar/Shutterstock

Air New Zealand has finally resumed operating nonstop flights between Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Auckland (AKL) following more than two years of suspension.

The first Air New Zealand flight to land in Chicago since the COVID pandemic shut down most air travel in early 2020 touched down at O’Hare International Airport on October 30.

The airline’s Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner will operate the 14-hour flight three times per week, leaving Auckland at 8:15 PM on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, landing in Chicago at 5 PM. The return flights will leave Chicago on the same days at 7 PM, arriving at Auckland at 6:30 AM.

The return of this service means that the New Zealand flag carrier has resumed regular flights to all of its international destinations suspended during the pandemic. Other U.S. cities served by Air New Zealand include Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Honolulu, and New York. The airline also operates a direct route to Vancouver in Canada.

Herringbone fully flat seat / Photo: Courtesy of Air New Zealand

“This is an exciting time for us. Since New Zealand’s borders reopened, we’ve slowly been resuming services and to now be flying to all our international destinations is a milestone moment for us,” said Leanne Geraghty, Chief Customer and Sales Officer at Air New Zealand. “The North American network plays a key role in Air New Zealand’s rebuild, and as the third biggest city in the United States, Chicago is an important destination for us.”

Due to Air New Zealand’s codeshare agreement with fellow Star Alliance member United Airlines, passengers from both carriers can also benefit from easy connections to more than 100 destinations across the U.S., according to Geraghty.

In September, the airline inaugurated its new service between Auckland and New York-JFK. The 17-hour journey featured Air New Zealand’s new international menu, showcasing what the airline calls “the best of New Zealand produce.”

According to the carrier, a varied menu which included seared salmon from Marlborough, free-range chicken from Waikato or bacon, and streamed green vegetables or fresh, crisp salads picked straight from orchards and fields in Gisborne, Waikato, and the Manawatū are part of the offering, which should remain available until the end of the year on certain long-haul routes.