Qantas used to fly Los Angeles – Auckland until May 2012, when they ceded the US non-stop market to Air New Zealand. The Star Alliance carrier flies from Los Angeles and San Francisco (as well as Vancouver and Honolulu). Air New Zealand even used to manage a Christchurch non-stop in addition to Auckland.
United promised Houston – Auckland flights, but then Southwest Airlines flights from Houston Hobby to Mexico made them uneconomical (yes, that was United’s claim — though Air New Zealand will be inaugurating Houston service anyway in December).
Los Angeles – Auckland is about 900 miles shorter than Sydney
On the heels of that announcement, it appears that American seems close to announcing Auckland – presumably Los Angeles-Auckland rather than Dallas-Auckland – made possible by:
- Their closer joint venture with Qantas
- The Boeing 787
Nonetheless, the US-New Zealand market is seeing a lot of additional capacity with the introduction of Houston and San Francisco service, and with American expected to take on Air New Zealand head-to-head in Los Angeles. Expect plenty of sale fares to New Zealand a year from now.
It’s been noted that Dallas – Auckland remains a possibility. That would be better, perhaps, for East Coast connections. However that would take on Air New Zealand’s new Houston flight, and likely offer less local traffic. And American has said that new Pacific growth should be expected in Los Angeles, not Dallas. Either way, capacity to New Zealand seems on the verge of going way up.