New Zealand

Air New Zealand, which will kick off its first non-stop flight from New York to Auckland on September 17, has hired Praytell to handle the brand's earned-first strategy and media relations campaign.

The shop will launch a consumer activation push tied to the inaugural flight.

Air New Zealand will operate the New York JFK International to Auckland International Airport three times a week.

It is one of the longest routes in the world: 17 and a half hours southbound and 16 hours northbound.

Air New Zealand resumed US service, which had been suspended due to COVID-19, in March with flights from Auckland to Los Angeles.

San Francisco service kicked off in April. Honolulu and Houston's flights began again this month.

Praytell has generated buzz for Air New Zealand's new Skynest, sleep pod lie-flat beds for economy passengers.

Travel + Leisure predicted the Skynest will be a "delight to passengers." CNN, CNET, Gizmodo and GMA also covered the Skynest news.