Carry on: Fastest way to New York, new North American codeshares and more

The weekly business travel roundup also includes busy Nelson Airport and new hotel openings. With special feature audio.

The fastest one-stop route to New York from Auckland
Business World Travel has come up with the calculations and the winner, by just four minutes, is American Airlines/Qantas via Los Angeles. This flight has the same number all the way to JFK – AA082. The total flight duration 19 hours 6 minutes. United Airlines via San Francisco to New York-Newark is 19 hours 10 minutes and Air New Zealand/United via Houston is 19 hours 21 minutes. The United and American arrival times into New York are both at around 4.30pm – just in time for dinner and a good night’s sleep.

United-Air New Zealand partnership expands
This applies to United Airlines destinations in the US and Canada from where Air New Zealand lands. The new codeshares are
 Houston-Calgary, Houston-Edmonton, Houston-Toronto, Houston-Vancouver; Los Angeles-Vancouver; and San Francisco-Calgary, 
San Francisco-Vancouver 
and San Francisco-Victoria (British Columbia).

More flights from Nelson
Locally owned Originair will resume direct flights between Nelson and Palmerston North in September now that its air operators certification has been completed. The airline is also targeting Nelson to Hamilton flights in the future. Kiwi Regional Airlines has disappeared but Nelson Airport is booming nevertheless.

It handled a record 865,023 passengers in the year to June, up 16% from the 750,000 last year. Chief executive Rob Evans is aiming for one million in the current year, attributing all the growth to Jetstar’s entry into the regional market. The Nelson-Auckland route expanded 25% and Nelson-Wellington by 15%. The airport now has 480 flights a week and is due to reveal plans for the development of its terminal.

Lounges expand in Queenstown
Queenstown Airport's airline lounges are being expanded to handle the rapid growth in traffic. Planebiz, which the lounge for Qantas and Jetstar, has opened a new facility with capacity for 120 people. The former lounge, which caters for 75 people, is now under the control of Air New Zealand, which already has Koru lounge that handles 90 guests. Mountain Scene reports Air New Zealand as saying it will open a new and larger lounge sometime this year. In the 12 months to May 2016, Queenstown Airport handled more than 1.6 million passengers, up almost 18% on the previous 12 months.

New hotel openings in Wellington and Queenstown
The Ramada Remarkables Hotel is located at Remarkables Park, the shopping zone behind Queenstown Airport. The hotel sits in the 3.5 star category and each room has its own kitchenette. The new night landings into Queenstown will suit business travellers or holiday makers heading to Wanaka who prefer not to drive at night in the winter. Wellington’s new hotel option is the Sofitel which has opened opposite The Bolton in Bolton St. The Sofitel has the usual opening deals.

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