New non-stop flight brings Auckland and Chicago together

The new Air New Zealand non-stop service between Auckland and Chicago will further strengthen tourism links between New Zealand and the United States, says Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis, who is travelling on the inaugural service.

In 2017 over 330,000 Americans visited New Zealand, spending nearly $1.3 billion across the country. These numbers are projected to grow, with visitors expected to contribute over $2.3 billion to the New Zealand economy by 2024.

“More and more Americans are coming here to experience our manaakitanga, our unique Kiwi hospitality that makes visitors feel like whānau as soon as they step off the plane,” Kelvin Davis said. 

“The Auckland to Chicago flight will make it easier than ever for visitors from our third-largest visitor market to get a taste of New Zealand, and for kiwis to experience one of the most vibrant cities in the world.

“We want a tourism industry that delivers productive, inclusive and sustainable growth. With nearly 60 per cent of American visitors travelling outside of the peak seasons, this new route will spread the benefits of tourism across the year and help to achieve our tourism goals.”

In addition to tourism links, the United States is New Zealand’s fourth-largest trading partner and one of the largest sources of direct investment.

“The more links we have with each other, the more opportunities there are for business, travel and people-to-people connections. This route will boost these opportunities and deepen the relationship between New Zealand and the United States,” Kelvin Davis said.