American Shortly Announcing Flights To Auckland, New Zealand?

Filed Under: American

Last week I wrote about United announcing flights between San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand, as of July 1, 2016. United has been wanting to fly to New Zealand for a long time, though the timing of the announcement was especially interesting.

It came just weeks after American announced that they were expanding their partnership with Qantas, and launching flights between Los Angeles and Sydney. During that announcement American also expressed interest in soon launching flights to Auckland, New Zealand, though no exact details had apparently been worked out yet.

I can’t help but assume that the timeline for United’s announcement of New Zealand service was “rushed” a bit by them knowing about American’s new expanded partnership with Qantas, and that they’re wanting to add flights to New Zealand in the near future.


Anyway, JonNYC at TravelingBetter (who is usually a very reliable source) has indicated that American launching flights between Los Angeles and Auckland is now “certain,” and should be announced very soon. Presumably the new route would be operated by a Boeing 787.

Bottom line

New Zealand desperately needs more competition, as the only airline flying between the US mainland and New Zealand is Air New Zealand. Fares tend to be high and award availability tends to be virtually non-existent. While United flying to New Zealand adds capacity, it only slightly adds competition, given that the two airlines partner.

Meanwhile American adding service to New Zealand means there’s some real “competition,” which I’m very excited about.

With United launching service to New Zealand as of July 1, 2016, what’s the over/under on American choosing a June 30, 2016, launch date? 😉

Do you plan on taking one of the potential new flights to New Zealand?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. We think that American will offer better catering and service than Air New Zealand does in business class today.

  2. This is huge for me as I’ve been stockpiling my AA miles for several final CX F redemptions. Depending on availability I’ll have to reconsider now, as NZ is my favorite place on the planet.

  3. Ben, I flew on United between Sydney and Auckland and from AKL back to the USA in business class using miles way back in January of 1991.

    The flight out of AKL was delayed an hour or so and the airport was on high alert. President George Bush, Sr. had just started sending troops to Kuwait to liberate the country from Saddam Hussein/Iraq. To do so with speed, he invoked a clause in a contract the US Government had with Boeing. Apparently, the USG helped finance the Boeing 747. In exchange for doing so, they reserved the right to commandeer all the planes for matters of national security.

    United had to take a DC-10 overwater plane out of the Mojave Desert to service the route from Sydney/Auckland; but it could not travel nonstop to LAX and had to refuel in HNL.

    The trip was made especially memorable by the uptight flight attendant in business class (no first class on this plane) who (and thankfully before most of business class had boarded) stormed up the aisle, pivoted, and pointed her finger at me and declared menacingly that I looked like her ex-husband. I was 25 years old at the time. And despite it being an overnight flight, I was wearing a business suit with bowtie. I still dress up today for the plane.

    So this is a return to the service they had for awhile (although I don’t know when they stopped….perhaps 10-15 years ago.)

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