Air New Zealand has hinted an Auckland-New York direct route is on the horizon, once it acquires new airplanes.

Chief executive Christopher Luxon told Forbes the airline is in the top five in the world in terms of the distance it flies.

"We end up flying a normal [international] flight 12 or 13 hours," Luxon told the publication.

Currently, the two longest flights in the world both serve Auckland - direct flights to Dubai and Doha.


In December 2015, Air New Zealand began Auckland-Houston, a flight of about 11,915km.

Luxon told Forbes he envisioned flying to New York (about 14,815km) and Chicago once the airline secures new airplanes.

Luxon said the United States and New Zealand flight routes were primarily for "premium leisure travelers".

Airbus told the Herald last year it was trying to sell Air New Zealand its ultra-long range Airbus A350XWBs, which would be capable of flying from Auckland to cities such as New York.

The long-range version of the A350 can fly over 16,000km.