Air New Zealand’s inaugural direct flight from Auckland Airport (AKL) to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) has completed its return journey, arriving in AKL on September 19, 2022, at around 08:30 local time after a 17.5-hour flight.

However, over 50 passengers were left without luggage after a decision by Air New Zealand to unload excess luggage at JFK, local news NZ Herald reported.

"Unfortunately, given additional fuel requirements due to adverse weather, some customer bags were unable to be loaded in New York and we are getting them to New Zealand as soon as possible,” Air New Zealand chief operating officer Alex Marren told local media.

Marren added: “We are in touch with customers to update them and reunite them with their bags. We're sorry for any inconvenience this has caused."

Air NZ said that luggage was already on its way back to New Zealand but could take up to two days to be reunited with its owners.

The new AKL-JFK route is the longest Air New Zealand has operated, and the fourth longest flight in the world. The carrier originally planned to launch the route in 2020 but delayed the plan due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air New Zealand will operate the AKL-JFK route three times a week.
 

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