10 Best Airlines to Fly to New Zealand (Updated 2023)

by Flora
here are the best airlines to fly to New Zealand
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As you embark on a voyage to New Zealand’s unparalleled landscapes and wonders, the initial challenge lies in selecting the right airline. To help you in your search, we’ve analyzed over 150 airports from around the world to bring you this comprehensive guide. Allow us to be your beacon, guiding you straight to the best airlines to fly to New Zealand!

More than just a destination, New Zealand is a call to the heart of every traveler. This enchanting land, with its majestic mountains, emerald forests, and shimmering coastlines, has long been a dream for many. From the bustling streets of Auckland to the serene beauty of Fiordland National Park, every corner of New Zealand offers a unique blend of natural wonder and cultural richness. As the backdrop to epic tales like “The Lord of the Rings,” it’s no wonder that this island nation has captured the imagination of many.

But before you set foot in this paradise, there’s the journey to consider. The flight to New Zealand can be long, but with the right airline, it can be a delightful prelude to your adventure. A comfortable seat, delectable cuisine, and top-notch in-flight entertainment can set the tone for your entire trip.

As the year unfolds, several airlines stand out in their commitment to ensuring that your journey to the Land of the Long White Cloud is as magical as the destination itself. In this guide, we’ve handpicked the best airlines to fly to New Zealand. This ensures that your travel experience begins and ends on a high note.

The best airlines to fly to New Zealand right now
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Quick tip on how to find cheap flights to New Zealand

Looking for cheap flights to New Zealand right now? Before diving into all the airlines that fly to New Zealand, I first want to share a quick tip on how to save money on airfare.

For the past three years, I’ve used Scott’s Cheap Flights (now called Going) to get amazing flight deals. All you have to do is enter your home airport and where you want to go, and from there, they’ll send you mistake fares and other ridiculously cheap flight deals. And the coolest part? It’s 100% FREE! In 2022, I saved thousands of dollars from their email alerts. This includes most recently, a $1,087 roundtrip fare from Boston to Australia.

There’s a free and a premium version – the free one has pretty much everything you’ll need. Though if you’re like me and travel a lot every year, it’s worth upgrading to the paid version for $49 per year. In my experience, you’ll get your money back after finding just one discounted flight! As such, I recommend signing up for the free trial (you can cancel at any time) to try it for yourself. And if you like it, be sure to use my coupon code JON20 to save 20%!

Now without further ado, here are the best New Zealand flights in 2023.

1. Air New Zealand

Flying with Air New Zealand offers a quintessential Kiwi experience even before you touch down in the country. As the national carrier, it’s often the top pick for travelers searching for the best airlines to fly into New Zealand.

With its hub located in Auckland, this airline connects passengers to a plethora of destinations both within New Zealand and internationally. They serve major cities domestically and have an extensive international network covering Australia, the Pacific region, Asia, North America, South America, and key hubs in Europe.

Air New Zealand often provides budget-friendly deals, especially during off-peak seasons, catering to cost-conscious travelers.
Air New Zealand often provides budget-friendly deals, especially during off-peak seasons, catering to cost-conscious travelers.

What sets Air New Zealand apart? Their award-winning in-flight entertainment system keeps passengers engaged, while the uniquely designed seats, especially in their premium cabins, ensure utmost comfort. The Skycouch feature in the economy class, for instance, allows a row of seats to be transformed into a flat surface. This makes long-haul flights more bearable.

For those on a budget, Air New Zealand frequently offers deals, especially during off-peak seasons. While it’s not the cheapest option available, the service quality and amenities justify the price tag. This positions it between a luxury and mid-range airline.

Another fun fact: Air New Zealand is known for its entertaining safety videos, often featuring celebrities and showcasing stunning New Zealand landscapes. It’s this attention to detail and commitment to a unique passenger experience that makes every flight memorable.


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2. Qantas

Australia’s flagship carrier, Qantas, is renowned for its exceptional service and commitment to passenger comfort. Originating from the Land Down Under, Qantas has established itself as one of the best international airlines to New Zealand. This bridges the Tasman Sea with frequent flights.

Qantas boasts a modern fleet, ensuring passengers experience the latest in aviation technology and comfort. Their Premium Economy and Business Class cabins are particularly noteworthy. These offers spacious seating, gourmet meals, and a selection of fine wines. For those keen on entertainment, the in-flight system offers a diverse range of movies, music, and games.

Qantas combines reliability, luxury, and competitive pricing, making it a versatile choice for travelers.
Qantas combines reliability, luxury, and competitive pricing, making it a versatile choice for travelers.

The airline’s primary hub is in Sydney, but it operates flights from various Australian cities to key New Zealand destinations like Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. This makes it a convenient choice for travelers hopping between the two nations.

For travelers seeking the best airlines to fly to New Zealand, Qantas offers a blend of reliability, luxury, and competitive pricing. While it leans towards the higher end in terms of cost, the airline frequently rolls out promotions, especially for its loyalty program members. An added bonus: Qantas has a reputation for punctuality, ensuring your adventure starts right on schedule.

3. United Airlines

When considering the best airlines from the US to New Zealand, United Airlines often tops the list. As one of the major carriers in the United States, United has consistently provided travelers with reliable and comfortable journeys to the Land of the Long White Cloud.

With its main hub located at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, United offers direct flights to Auckland from several major US cities, including San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Houston. This extensive network ensures that passengers from various parts of the US can find a convenient route to New Zealand.

United has consistently delivered reliable and comfortable journeys to New Zealand, known as the Land of the Long White Cloud.
United has consistently delivered reliable and comfortable journeys to New Zealand, known as the Land of the Long White Cloud.

For those who prioritize comfort, United’s Polaris Business Class is a game-changer. Touted as the best airline to fly to New Zealand from the US in terms of luxury, Polaris offers lie-flat seats, gourmet dining, and a premium lounge experience. Even in economy, passengers can expect a decent legroom, a wide selection of in-flight entertainment, and friendly service.

Price-wise, United sits in the mid to high range. However, their frequent flyer program, MileagePlus, offers opportunities for discounts and upgrades, making the journey more rewarding for loyal customers. Additionally, United’s commitment to sustainability is evident in their eco-skies program, aiming to reduce the airline’s carbon footprint. Is United among the top airlines to fly to New Zealand? You bet!

4. Singapore Airlines

For travelers who prioritize luxury and comfort, Singapore Airlines offers arguably the best business class to New Zealand. Recognized globally for its top-tier service and unparalleled in-flight experience, this airline ensures that long-haul flights become a pleasure rather than a chore.

Singapore Airlines’ business class cabins are designed with the passenger’s utmost comfort in mind. Spacious seats that convert into fully flat beds, gourmet meals curated by renowned chefs, and an extensive entertainment system make the journey fly by. Additionally, passengers can indulge in amenities like high-quality noise-cancelling headphones, luxurious bedding, and a curated selection of wines and spirits. The attentive cabin crew, trained to anticipate passengers’ needs, further elevates the experience.

Singapore Airlines ensures a journey as unforgettable as the destination.
Singapore Airlines ensures a journey as unforgettable as the destination.

Singapore Airlines stands out as one of the best airlines to go to New Zealand for business travelers. With its hub in Singapore, the airline offers convenient connections from various global cities to Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington. Beyond the luxury, the airline’s commitment to safety and punctuality is commendable.

While the ticket prices for business class are on the higher end, the value proposition is clear. The airline often rolls out promotions and deals, especially for its KrisFlyer members. For those willing to invest in a premium experience, Singapore Airlines promises a journey that’s as memorable as the destination itself.

5. Emirates

Emirates, hailing from the bustling city of Dubai, is often synonymous with luxury in the skies. Their reputation for delivering an unparalleled in-flight experience is well-deserved, making them a top choice for many travelers.

When considering the best airlines to travel to New Zealand, Emirates undoubtedly earns its spot on the list. Their A380 aircraft, which frequently operates on the New Zealand route, boasts an array of amenities. From onboard showers for first-class passengers to a lively bar area in business class, the journey becomes an event in itself.

Emirates, originating from Dubai, is synonymous with in-flight luxury and comfort in the skies.
Emirates, originating from Dubai, is synonymous with in-flight luxury and comfort in the skies.

The airline’s expansive network ensures that passengers from various parts of the world can seamlessly connect to New Zealand via Dubai. This connectivity, combined with their commitment to excellence, makes Emirates a favorite among globetrotters.

For those seeking the best airlines to fly to New Zealand, Emirates offers a harmonious blend of luxury and reliability. While their fares might lean towards the premium side, the experience, from gourmet meals to the award-winning entertainment system, justifies every penny. Additionally, their frequent flyer program, Skywards, provides ample opportunities for earning and redeeming miles, adding value to the journey.

6. Cathay Pacific

For those mapping out their journey to the Land of the Long White Cloud, Cathay Pacific often emerges as a top contender among the airlines that fly to New Zealand. Based in Hong Kong, this airline is celebrated for its commitment to passenger comfort and top-tier service.

Cathay Pacific’s fleet is modern and well-maintained, ensuring that travelers experience the latest in aviation technology. Their business class, in particular, is a testament to luxury in the skies, with lie-flat seats, gourmet Asian-inspired cuisine, and an extensive entertainment system that caters to diverse tastes.

Cathay Pacific is the ultimate choice for flying to New Zealand, offering a top-tier airline experience.
Cathay Pacific is the ultimate choice for flying to New Zealand, offering a top-tier airline experience.

If you’re on the hunt for the best flight to New Zealand, Cathay Pacific’s route from Hong Kong to Auckland is a popular choice. The airline’s hub in Hong Kong provides convenient connections for passengers traveling from Asia, Europe, and North America. This strategic location, combined with their impeccable service, positions Cathay Pacific as a preferred choice for many.

While the airline leans towards the premium side in terms of pricing, the quality of the in-flight experience and the frequent promotions for Marco Polo Club members often make the investment worthwhile. It’s not just a flight; it’s an introduction to the luxury and hospitality that awaits in New Zealand. For a top airline to fly to New Zealand, it doesn’t get any better than Cathay Pacific!

7. Virgin Australia

Virgin Australia is a familiar sight in the skies above the Southern Hemisphere. This airline is known for its vibrant personality and commitment to passenger satisfaction. It is often regarded as the best airline in New Zealand for those traveling from Australia and select international destinations.

The airline’s commitment to providing a unique in-flight experience is evident in its cabin design and service offerings. Premium Economy and Business Class passengers are treated to spacious seating, a curated menu, and a range of entertainment options. Even in the standard economy, Virgin Australia ensures a comfortable journey with ample legroom and attentive service.

Virgin Australia distinguishes itself among New Zealand-bound airlines by offering a balance of affordability and quality.
Virgin Australia distinguishes itself among New Zealand-bound airlines by offering a balance of affordability and quality.

Virgin Australia operates numerous routes between major Australian cities and New Zealand’s key destinations, including Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. Their frequent flights and competitive pricing make them a top choice for travelers on the Trans-Tasman route.

Among the airlines that fly to New Zealand, Virgin Australia stands out for its blend of affordability and quality. Their Velocity Frequent Flyer program offers added incentives for regular travelers, from seat upgrades to exclusive lounge access. With a focus on sustainability, the airline is also taking steps to reduce its environmental impact. This makes every flight a responsible choice.

8. Qatar Airways

For many international travelers, Qatar Airways represents the epitome of luxury in the skies, and their route to Auckland is often hailed as the best flight to New Zealand. Based in Doha, this airline has consistently been recognized for its superior in-flight experience and exceptional service standards.

Qatar Airways’ commitment to passenger comfort is evident in every aspect of the journey. Their Qsuite in Business Class offers private suites with doors, allowing passengers to work, dine, or relax in complete privacy. The airline’s in-flight entertainment system, Oryx One, boasts a vast selection of movies, TV shows, and music. This ensures passengers are entertained throughout the flight.

Qatar Airways makes the lengthy Doha to Auckland flight, one of the world's longest, feel seamless with exceptional service.
Qatar Airways makes the lengthy Doha to Auckland flight, one of the world’s longest, feel seamless with exceptional service.

When discussing the best airlines to New Zealand, Qatar Airways invariably finds its way onto the list. Their extensive network connects Doha to over 160 destinations worldwide. This makes it a convenient choice for travelers from Europe, Asia, and Africa. The direct flight from Doha to Auckland is one of the longest in the world, but with Qatar Airways’ exceptional service, it feels like a breeze.

While the airline is positioned at the premium end of the pricing spectrum, the unparalleled luxury, combined with frequent promotions for Privilege Club members, ensures value for every dollar spent. It’s not merely a flight; it’s an experience that sets the tone for an unforgettable New Zealand adventure.

9. Delta Airlines

Delta Airlines, a major player in the aviation industry, has been a preferred choice for many travelers journeying between the US and the Southern Hemisphere. With its extensive network and commitment to service excellence, it’s no surprise that Delta is often recommended as one of the best airlines from the US to New Zealand.

Operating from its primary hubs in Atlanta, Detroit, and Los Angeles, Delta ensures seamless connections to Auckland for passengers across the US. Their modern fleet, combined with attentive in-flight service, makes them one of the best airlines to fly to New Zealand.

From the US, Delta is a reliable choice for flights to New Zealand.
From the US, Delta is a reliable choice for flights to New Zealand.

Delta’s competitive pricing and frequent flyer program, SkyMiles, offer added incentives for travelers. Passengers can enjoy a range of entertainment options, from the latest blockbusters to popular TV series. This ensures the long-haul flight feels shorter.

Price-wise, Delta offers a range of options to suit various budgets, from the luxury of Delta One to the affordability of the main cabin. Their commitment to sustainability is also noteworthy, with ongoing initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and promote eco-friendly practices in the air and on the ground. From the US, Delta is definitely among the most reliable airlines to fly to New Zealand.

10. Air Canada

Air Canada, the flag carrier of the Great White North, has steadily risen in popularity among travelers seeking the best airlines that fly to New Zealand. With its signature blend of Canadian hospitality and world-class service standards, this airline promises a delightful journey from North America to the shores of Aotearoa.

Operating from its primary hub in Toronto, Air Canada offers passengers a seamless travel experience. Their state-of-the-art Dreamliner aircraft frequently serves the New Zealand route. It boasts features like mood lighting, enhanced air quality, and larger windows, ensuring a comfortable flight experience.

Air Canada excels by offering a compelling combination of affordability and top-notch quality, making it a standout choice for travelers.
Air Canada excels by offering a compelling combination of affordability and top-notch quality, making it a standout choice for travelers.

For travelers researching the best airlines to fly to New Zealand, Air Canada’s competitive edge lies in its combination of affordability and quality. The airline’s in-flight entertainment system is packed with a diverse range of movies, TV shows, and music, catering to passengers of all ages.

In terms of pricing, Air Canada offers a spectrum of choices, from the opulence of Signature Class to the value-driven comforts of Economy. Their loyalty program, Aeroplan, provides opportunities for passengers to earn and redeem miles, enhancing the overall travel experience.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Airlines to Travel to New Zealand

Planning your trip to the Land of the Long White Cloud? These frequently asked questions about the best airlines to fly to New Zealand will help you plan your trip!

What airline is best to fly to New Zealand?

The best airline to fly to New Zealand largely depends on various factors. This includes your departure location, budget, service preferences, and loyalty program affiliations. Here are some airlines that are popular choices for flights to New Zealand:

  1. Air New Zealand: As the flag carrier of New Zealand, Air New Zealand offers extensive routes both domestically within the country and internationally. They are known for their Kiwi hospitality, innovative in-flight entertainment, and have won numerous awards for their service.
  2. Qantas: Australia’s national carrier offers frequent flights to New Zealand from various Australian cities. They are known for their premium service and extensive frequent flyer program.
  3. Virgin Australia: Another major Australian airline, Virgin Australia offers competitive fares and a modern fleet for its routes to New Zealand.
  4. Emirates: If you’re flying from Europe, the Middle East, or other parts of Asia, Emirates offers flights to New Zealand with a stopover in Dubai. They are known for their luxurious service, especially in business and first-class.
  5. Singapore Airlines: For those in Southeast Asia or connecting through Singapore, this airline offers excellent service and connections to New Zealand.
  6. Cathay Pacific: Based in Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific provides another option for travelers from Asia.
  7. United Airlines and American Airlines: For travelers from the U.S., both airlines offer direct flights to New Zealand.
  8. Fiji Airways: Provides an option with a stopover in Fiji. This can be an added bonus for those looking to explore another Pacific island en route.
  9. LATAM: For those traveling from South America, LATAM offers flights with a stopover in Santiago, Chile.

Which airlines fly direct to New Zealand?

Several airlines offer direct flights to New Zealand, including Air New Zealand, Qantas, Emirates, and Singapore Airlines. The availability of direct flights often depends on the departure city and the specific airport in New Zealand you’re heading to.

Where is the best place to fly to New Zealand?

Auckland International Airport is the primary international gateway and is often considered the best place to fly to when visiting New Zealand. However, Wellington and Christchurch also have international airports that are serviced by some of the best airlines to fly to New Zealand.

Is Qantas or Air New Zealand better?

Both Qantas and Air New Zealand have their strengths. Air New Zealand is renowned for its in-flight service and has won numerous awards for its premium economy and business class. Qantas, on the other hand, boasts a vast network and is known for its safety record. The choice often comes down to personal preference and specific route considerations.

Which New Zealand premium economy is best?

Air New Zealand’s premium economy is frequently lauded as one of the best. It offers spacious seating, enhanced meal options, and priority boarding. However, other airlines serving New Zealand, like Singapore Airlines and Emirates, also offer competitive premium economy experiences.

In this extensive guide, we've examined top airlines for New Zealand travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.
In this extensive guide, we’ve examined top airlines for New Zealand travel, each providing distinct amenities, service, and travel quality.

Are there direct flights from Europe to New Zealand?


As of 2023, there are no direct, non-stop flights from Europe to New Zealand. The distance between Europe and New Zealand is vast, and flights typically require at least one stopover. Common stopover points for flights from Europe to New Zealand include:

  1. Middle Eastern Hubs: Cities like Dubai (served by Emirates) and Doha (served by Qatar Airways) are common stopover points. For instance, Emirates operates flights from various European cities to Auckland with a stopover in Dubai.
  2. Asian Hubs: Cities such as Singapore (served by Singapore Airlines), Hong Kong (served by Cathay Pacific), and Bangkok (served by Thai Airways) are also popular transit points for flights en route to New Zealand.
  3. Australian Cities: Some travelers from Europe might fly to an Australian city like Sydney, Melbourne, or Brisbane. And from there, they can take a shorter flight to New Zealand.

How long is the flight to New Zealand from the US?

Flight durations vary based on the departure city, but flights from the West Coast, such as Los Angeles or San Francisco, typically take around 12-13 hours.

Are there budget airlines that service New Zealand?

Yes, several budget airlines, including Jetstar and Virgin Australia, offer routes to and within New Zealand. While they might not be the best airlines to fly to New Zealand in terms of luxury, they provide affordable options for travelers.

What’s the best time to book flights to New Zealand?

It’s generally advisable to book flights several months in advance, especially if you’re traveling during New Zealand’s peak tourist season, which is during their summer months (December to February).

Do airlines offer deals or discounts for flights to New Zealand?

Absolutely! Many airlines offer promotional fares or early bird discounts for flights to New Zealand. It’s a good idea to sign up for newsletters or fare alerts from airlines and travel agencies to stay informed.

What airlines currently fly to NZ?

Several airlines fly to New Zealand, including the following:

  1. Air New Zealand: The flag carrier of New Zealand, offering extensive domestic and international routes.
  2. United Airlines: Provides routes from the U.S. to New Zealand.
  3. Lufthansa: Connects European cities to New Zealand.
  4. Air Canada: Offers flights from Canada to New Zealand.
  5. Qantas: The Australian airline has routes connecting Australia to New Zealand.
  6. American Airlines: Provides certain routes from the U.S. to New Zealand.
  7. Virgin Atlantic: Connects some cities to New Zealand.
  8. Turkish Airlines: Offers routes from Turkey and its other destinations to New Zealand.
  9. Fiji Airways: Connects Fiji and other Pacific destinations to New Zealand.
  10. Hawaiian Airlines: Provides routes from Hawaii to New Zealand.
  11. LATAM Airlines Group: Connects South American cities to New Zealand.

Additionally, there are other airlines like AirAsiaX, Air Caledonie International, and Air China that have operated flights to New Zealand at various times.

New Zealand Airlines in 2023: Recap

Embarking on a journey to the enchanting landscapes of New Zealand is an adventure in itself. The airline you choose can significantly enhance this experience. From the luxurious amenities of premium carriers to the budget-friendly options that don’t compromise on comfort, there’s a flight for every type of traveler.

As you plan your trip, consider the best airlines to fly to New Zealand to ensure a memorable voyage. Whether you’re chasing the thrill of adventure sports, the serenity of untouched nature, or the rich cultural tapestry of the Maori heritage, starting your journey with a top-notch airline sets the tone for an unforgettable Kiwi experience.

The best airlines to fly to New Zealand for all types of travelers
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