Americans will have a new way to get to the land down under next summer when Qantas inaugurates a direct flight from New York to Sydney, Australia, via Auckland, New Zealand.
“We can’t wait to return to New York and it’s made possible by the delivery of new aircraft, which have been caught up in delays that have impacted lots of airlines,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said in a statement. The airline suspended stopover service to New York during the coronavirus pandemic.
The new flights are scheduled to operate three days a week and will put Qantas in even more direct competition with Air New Zealand, which is set to begin nonstop New York to Auckland service in September, also on a thrice-weekly schedule.
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Air New Zealand’s service plan was finalized in March.
“The U.S. has always been a key market for us, and this new route cements our commitment to growing opportunities for tourism between the two countries,” CEO Greg Foran said in a statement. “In the six years leading up to Covid, the US visitor numbers to New Zealand doubled so we expect our much-awaited non-stop service to be incredibly strong year-round.”
When do flights to Sydney, Auckland from N.Y. begin?
Qantas’ first flights from Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport via Auckland Airport are still waiting on final approval from regulators, but are tentatively scheduled to begin on June 14, 2023.
Air New Zealand’s nonstop from New York’s JFK to Auckland is set to start on Sept. 17.
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Both airlines plan to use Boeing 787 aircraft for the flights, and the transpacific service will take about 17.5 hours southbound and 16 hours northbound, according to Air New Zealand.
Air New Zealand also offers connections to Australia from Auckland, including a 787 flight to Sydney. The nonstop Auckland-New York service is scheduled to operate on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The airline’s schedule lists the flight from Auckland to Sydney at 3 hours and 40 minutes.
Qantas passengers continuing to Sydney will not have to change planes in Auckland, but will have the option of transferring there for other destinations in Australia. The airline’s current plan seems to call for flights on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday, meaning there will be no races from Auckland to New York with the current schedule.
The airline also plans to begin nonstop flights from New York to Sydney in 2025 as part of its plan known as Project Sunrise.
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How much are fares between New York-Auckland?
The fares listed below are all round-trip for the lowest tier economy tickets available on the selected dates.
- Qantas: New York-Sydney via Auckland, July 12-19: $2,359
- Qantas: New York-Brisbane via Auckland, July 12-19: $2,506
- Qantas: New York-Auckland, July 12-19: $1,997
- Air New Zealand: New York-Sydney via Auckland, July 13-20: $2,132.47
- Air New Zealand: New York-Brisbane via Auckland, July 13-20: $2,337.67
- Air New Zealand: New York-Auckland, July 13-20: $2,246.47
What are Australia, New Zealand COVID entry restrictions?
Australia does not currently require a negative test or proof of vaccination to enter the country, but masks are required on inbound international flights.
Individual Australian states and territories may set more stringent testing and quarantining requirements for international travelers.
New Zealand requires most international travelers to show proof of vaccination and take two rapid antigen tests upon arrival. If either test produces a positive result, the traveler will be required to quarantine for seven days.