Air New Zealand has announced an exciting addition to their route network for this November. Or more accurately they’ve announced a service resumption, as they last flew here in 1998.
Air New Zealand will be launching flights between Auckland and Seoul Incheon as of November 23, 2019. The flight will operate up to 5x weekly with the following schedule:
NZ75 Auckland to Incheon departing 12:00PM arriving 7:55PM
NZ76 Incheon to Auckland departing 9:45PM arriving 12:55PM (+1 day)
I say “up to 5x weekly” because the route will operate 3x weekly year-round, and then between December 23 and February 22, the airline will operate an additional 2x weekly frequencies due to the peak season.
Air New Zealand intends to use a Boeing 787-9 for the route, featuring business, premium economy, and economy. This ~6,000 mile flight is blocked at 11hr55min northbound, and 11hr10min southbound.
The only other airline to operate this route is Korean Air, which operates the route up to daily using a Boeing 777-300ER. So it’s great to see some competition on the route.
In addition to New Zealand being a popular vacation destination for Koreans, Air New Zealand is also part of Star Alliance, so Air New Zealand will have some connectivity thanks to Asiana’s hub there.
This will represent Air New Zealand’s sixth destination in Asia, after Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei, and Tokyo.
As Air New Zealand’s Chief Revenue Officer, Cam Wallace, describes it:
“Seoul is a densely populated city with more than 10 million residents. Inbound leisure travel from South Korea to New Zealand has grown significantly in recent years presenting an important tourism growth opportunity for the airline and for the New Zealand tourism economy.
We also want to encourage more Kiwi travellers to explore Seoul and South Korea. We’re thrilled to be offering customers easy direct access to another vibrant Asian destination to add to their bucket list. The new service will also help connect the estimated 40,000 Koreans already living in New Zealand more conveniently with friends and family in their home country.”
It’s cool to see Air New Zealand add yet another Asian destination, after only having added service to Taipei in the past few months.
This is of course great for those traveling between Asia and New Zealand, but could also prove useful for some traveling between the US and New Zealand, since with some programs you can redeem miles on a single ticket from the US to New Zealand via Incheon.
What do you make of Air New Zealand’s new route between Auckland and Incheon?