Air New Zealand has confirmed it will launch a new non-stop service between Auckland and Chicago.
As revealed in the Herald this week, the service to Chicago's O'Hare International Airport will start in November.
The airline also announced a deeper alliance between Air New Zealand and United Airlines. In addition to the new route, United has announced it will extend its seasonal service between Auckland and San Francisco to year-round from April next year.
Air New Zealand will operate the Chicago route three times a week year-round from November 30, with its new configuration Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.
Direct distance to Chicago is 13,200km and flight time will be approximately 15 hours northbound, or 16 hours southbound.
Chief executive Christopher Luxon said Chicago would be an attractive option for Kiwis. The airline flies to Los Angeles, San Francisco and most recently Houston, a popular service that flies daily during the high season.
"As well as being great for travellers, this new route is good news for New Zealand, as we expect it to contribute around $70 million annually to our economy and we know that more than 50 per cent of spending by US visitors to New Zealand is done outside of the main centres,'' he said.
The airline says Chicago is an exciting destination with a lot to offer from its incredible history, museums and architecture to world-renowned jazz music and famous dishes including the iconic deep dish pizza.
United operates more flights out of its hub of O'Hare International Airport than any other airline, and Air New Zealand says the new service to Chicago will provide customers with convenient one-stop code share connections to about 100 destinations across the US.
Beginning next New Zealand autumn, United will extend its service between Auckland and its West Coast hub in San Francisco to year-round, introducing a three times weekly service, complementing Air New Zealand's existing daily year-round service on the route.