Air New Zealand is to begin offering the “Air New Zealand Matchmaking Flight,” according to the New Zealand Herald and a website created by the airline. The stated goal is to “help single Americans find New Zealand dates with a themed flight headed toward a dual hemisphere singles party.” The maiden (maybe inaugural is more appropriate here) voyage is set to launch in October.

Is the global financial crisis affecting the Kiwis so profoundly that they have to rob the US of its richest eligible singles? Who else would be spending the nearly $800 for the ticket?

The tagline, apparently targeting the helplessly brainwashed, straight and desperate American masses with a grand to burn (consider the cocktails) is “How far will you go to find the one?”

Perhaps a more accurate question would be, “How pissed will you be when you spend $800 and travel half a world on an endless international flight to find that you can’t get laid here either and you’re not getting home anytime soon?”

Photos and Feature Photo: the jyan

Indeed, for those who find themselves having a terrible time, it’s far worse than a blind date in the ol’ hometown. Here there will be no escape from the glaring failure as Sandra skips off with a more sex-worthy catch and you wait for another overnight flight back to L.A. during which there will be only cocktail service and a courtesy blanket to comfort you.

The whole thing smacks of a reality show.

About the only guaranteed positive is that this may be the only international fight you’ll ever have been on without a relentlessly sobbing child.