Air New Zealand this Wednesday (Tuesday US/Europe) is rumoured to be announcing a new ULH service at its “where to next” conference. Chigaco is frontunner city previously CEO Luxon had mentioned plans to fly there, Chicago is somewhat 13,200km away and it would be one of the longest routes in the world.
This would make sense as Chicago is a big hub of Air New Zealand star alliance partner United Airways and it would allow for many connections around the USA. The route would be operated with either the 787-9 (North American heavy premium configuration) or the 777-200ER. Another likely candidate is New York some 14,185 km away which would be the 4th longest flight in the world only 10km shorter then 3rd place Auckland - Dubai opearted by Emairtes. This though is pushing aircraft range right to the limit the 787-9 only able to fly this distance by changing configuration and cargo/logistical limits. Air New Zealand might have to wait for next generation aircraft such as the 777-8X and A350-900ULR before opening up routes to the US east coast which may also be bought up in the conference. Possibly giving clues to what will go on to replace the 777-200ER in the early 2020’s.
It would be nice to see Denver 1. Because I’m from Colorado, and 2. DEN is a pretty busy airport with connections to many cities through the US. Only downside is that it’s only a major hub for United, Southwest, and Frontier, leaving out Delta or American where as ORD has a healthy mix of most of US carriers.
I gotta go with @Moosehead08 and @Balloonchaser here. Denver would be a really nice route to see. I could also see them going to one of the following, Dallas, Seattle, Phoenix, and maybe even like Salt Lake City, or even Kansas City or St. Louis