In a colourful mix of cultures, passengers disembarking Air New Zealand’s first flight between Auckland and Buenos Aires Ezeiza ‒ including special guests Air New Zealand ambassador Richie McCaw and Associate Minister of Tourism Paula Bennett – were treated to a rousing Whakatau welcome and a display of Argentinian tango dancing inside the terminal, alongside a traditional gift exchange and ribbon cutting.
- Air New Zealand began its first flights to South America on 1 November with a thrice-weekly service to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE). The 10,908-kilometre trans-Pacific flight, which will face no direct competition, departs from Auckland (AKL) and utilises the airline’s 777-200 fleet. Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon says: “The airline’s new South American service makes it easier than ever for Kiwis to explore the bustling city of Buenos Aires and beyond to the rest of Argentina and wider South America. We’re confident it will stimulate two-way tourism and trade between our two countries and build on the strong education and rugby links we already enjoy. Sales for the first few months have exceeded our expectations with a healthy spread of bookings originating in New Zealand, Australia and Argentina. A significant portion of the forward bookings heading to South America are from Australia, and this has been pleasing as it was a key part of the business case for this route.” On 15 December, Air New Zealand will celebrate its inaugural flight to Houston, introducing direct travel into the heart of the southern US.