WOW: American Announces Two New Routes To New Zealand

Filed Under: American

American Airlines has just announced two very cool new seasonal routes to New Zealand, which complement their existing seasonal flight from Los Angeles to Auckland.

Here are the details of these new routes:

American’s New Dallas to Auckland Route

American Airlines will be launching a new seasonal route from Dallas to Auckland, which will operate between October 25, 2020, and March 25, 2021. The route will operate:

  • 3x weekly through November 29, 2020
  • Daily starting December 1, 2020

American will operate the route with the following schedule:

Dallas to Auckland departing 10:30PM arriving 7:40AM (+2 days)
Auckland to Dallas departing 11:15AM arriving 7:10AM

American will use a Boeing 787-9 for the 7,440 mile route (which will also be their second longest flight, after Dallas to Hong Kong), featuring a total of 285 seats, including 30 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 234 economy seats.

American Airlines 787-9 business class

Tickets for this new route will be bookable starting November 30, 2019.

This route will complement American’s existing service to Auckland, which operates seasonally from Los Angeles. They’re even extending the season by a few weeks in 2020, as the route will launch as of October 7, rather than at the end of October.

American’s New Los Angeles To Christchurch Route

In addition to a new Dallas to Auckland route, American Airlines will also launch a new seasonal route from Los Angeles to the South Island of New Zealand. American will fly 3x weekly between Los Angeles and Christchurch from October 27, 2020, through March 26, 2021.

The route will operate with the following schedule:

Los Angeles to Christchurch departing 11:30PM arriving 9:25AM (+2 days)
Christchurch to Los Angeles departing 1:10PM arriving 6:00AM

American will use a Boeing 787-8 for the 6,878 mile route, featuring a total of 234 seats, including 20 business class seats, 28 premium economy seats, and 186 economy seats.

American Airlines 787-8

Tickets for this new route will be bookable starting November 9, 2019.

This will be American’s second route from Los Angeles to New Zealand, after their Los Angeles to Auckland route.

Why American Is Adding These Routes Now

We’ve known that American plans on expanding their flying to the South Pacific. That’s because a new joint venture was recently approved between American and Qantas, and as part of that the airlines promised to add additional routes.

Qantas has already announced two new routes — from Brisbane to both Chicago and San Francisco. We’ve known that American would be the next airline to announce new routes.

It is interesting to see that all of the expansion on American’s part so far is seasonal service to New Zealand. That’s no doubt cool for tourists, but I’m surprised to not see more business routes.

I’m curious if we’ll still see American expand from either Dallas or Los Angeles to Brisbane or Melbourne, since those routes seem like possibilities as well.

In about a year we’ll see American operating three routes to New Zealand and just a single route to Australia (from Los Angeles to Sydney), so it seems like they’re leaving most of the Australia flying to Qantas…

Bottom Line

New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and it’s very cool to see American add two new routes there. It’s great to see an airline other than Air New Zealand add a flight to the country from beyond the West Coast, and it’s also cool to see the first flight from the US to the South Island.

Ultimately these are just seasonal routes, though. I’m curious if long term we’ll see some additional year-round capacity to Australia.

What do you make of American’s new routes to New Zealand?

Comments
  1. AA should be able to make Auckland routes year-round (via LAX or DFW) and be profitable. Heck, last week I saw an Air New Zealand’s 777-300ER at Houston! I think AA is just getting their feet wet.

  2. Interesting. I don’t expect air New Zealand to take this lying down. Should be some good prices coming out of this.
    Wouldn’t like to be sitting in Y for the Dallas routes. A long time on a plane.

  3. I really hope that American starts MEL-DFW soon! It would be really convenient. I also wonder if AA would compete with Air NZ by flying from AKL to JFK?

  4. Do you think this might result in lower prices on Air NZ’s routes from the US? They’re a great airline but their prices are really high (3k for Premium Economy round trip from LA to Auckland).

  5. Wow, Awesome news for us in the DFW metroplex. So many flights added in the last few years and they keep on coming. I do plan on flying DFW-AKL in Business Class.

  6. @ Lucky: This is off-topic for this post, but I am curious if you have read about the Aeroflot CEO’s spat with the Russian government over subsidized “flat” fares for economy class between Moscow and several cities in the Far East? I find it quite amusing and a bit bizarre, as I work in Vladivostok and fly Aeroflot quite frequently. In a nutshell, Vitaly Savelyev (Aeroflot’s CEO) claims that Aeroflot is losing tons of money and that the routes are not profitable, while the government insists that the fares are to stay in order to make connection between the far regions and Moscow affordable for the average person. For example, Aeroflot has gone as far as not posting a schedule for Moscow-Vladivostok (and vice-versa) after January 1st, which is obviously unusual. Try the Aeroflot website. The usual round-trip “flat” fare on Aeroflot is 25,000 rubles. You can book Moscow-Vladivostok direct one-way in economy on December 30th for the flat fare of 12,500 rubles (11,000 on Rossiya), but there are no direct return flights scheduled on December 31st, and nothing at all beginning January 1st.

    It’s been an interesting saga, and I am curious to see if Savelyev will keep his job after daring to challenge the flat tariffs. I figured you may like to follow this drama, though I must warn you that finding info in English may be a bit challenging. However, Google translate is your friend in this regard 😉

  7. This seems like a plane utilization move to me. As summer seasonal routes to Europe end, they can use those aircraft on these flights.

  8. This will be the only service connecting the south island direct to the U.S. Perhaps NZ will follow suit with South Island service to the U.S.?

    LAX-SFO to ZQN seasonal service would be the best.

  9. Jake,

    ANZ’s Premium Economy is one of the best – certainly better than First/Business on most US domestic flights

  10. Tom,

    I flew in them in PE last year and loved it, and ideally I’d fly it again for another trip to NZ. But a 3x price premium over economy is tough to swallow. Hoping this results in some price cuts.

  11. Direct move to counter the NZ flight to IAH where UA provides feeder traffic in both directions.

    No big changes for Aucklanders but for CHCH residents this is huge – they no longer need to travel north to connect in Auckland and presumably this will be on sale too.

  12. Not the first time LAX-CHC has been tried. Air NZ did it in 2004/5 and 2005/6 summers with 747, twice weekly, I think. Probably way too much aircraft, and for NZ it cut into AKL traffic. Will be interesting to see if this works better for American, for whom it enhances the hub.

    While you could probably get a 787 on the ground safely at ZQN your ability to fly it out of there to North America would be limited to an incredibly low passenger load. Never going to happen.

  13. This is a great opportunity to get to the South Island direct from the US. The problem for those of us wanting award seats or an upgrade to J is that it is on the 787-8 with only 20 J seats. Unless they really struggle with seat sales like the BLQ flight, good luck getting J award saver seats or upgrades

  14. The timing is really crappy…lose LATAM and now these routes makes it look like AA is rolling over and conceding South America…

  15. Need Delta to pick up the slack and start AKL from SEA or ATL. Even with Virgin Australia, their south pacific network is so weak.

  16. Reportedly AA has reduced leg room on all flights in all classes.
    Being 6’5″ will impact on my comfort, so why should I fly AA now?

  17. 787s can’t even do the approach legally into ZQN, let alone turn around on the runway or get airborne with any loads. Even 321Neo aren’t being operated as their margins are too narrow for safety.

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