American Airlines Just Announced Flights to Auckland, New Zealand

When American Airlines announced new Los Angeles – Sydney service they teased possible flights to New Zealand and acknowledged Auckland was on their radar.

Now the time has come. American announced service to Auckland today.

    “Bayswater Marina Auckland New Zealand” by Bayswater marina, Creative Commons

They will fly Los Angeles – Auckland with a Boeing 787-8 starting in June.

Here’s the schedule:

  • Los Angeles – Auckland, 10:45 pm – 6:35 am +2
  • Auckland – Los Angeles, 1:20 pm – 6:30am

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).

United just announced they’re introducing San Francisco – Auckland. United’s service begins July 1.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker said, “We are excited to be the first U.S. carrier to offer a truly premium experience between Los Angeles and Auckland.” And I’m not exactly sure whether he was suggesting that’s because:

  • They’ll beat United to New Zealand by a matter of days, or
  • United’s service isn’t ‘truly premium’ since their business class product isn’t as spacious, lacking ‘all aisle access’

American Airlines Boeing 787-8 Business Class

The American Airlines 787 is a great ride in business class but could be especially tight in coach.

The service is in addition to American’s Sydney flight launching next month.

    Los Angeles – Auckland is about 900 miles shorter than Sydney

American’s Auckland service is made possible by:

  • Their closer joint venture with Qantas
  • The Boeing 787

I’m surprised to see American moving forward with this with the government dragging its feet approving American’s tie-in with Qantas.

Nonetheless, the US-New Zealand market is seeing a lot of additional capacity with the introduction of Houston and San Francisco service, on top of American taking on Air New Zealand head-to-head in Los Angeles. Expect plenty of sale fares to New Zealand for next summer!

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Given the huge deamand for North America-Aust.-NZ seats I don’t think fare sales will be in the offing anytime soon. However, if there’s an economic downturn then you might. Every ANZ flight I was on – J class – was filled to gills – out of the U.S., China and Japan! Had they gotten permission to stuff extra passengers in the overhead bins they would have. There is that big of a demand.

  2. @Tim you clicked a link from the post about Chicago, which was that Qantas CEO speculated they could fly Sydney – Chicago with a 787-9 (once they get those) thanks to their joint venture with American

  3. nice, thks for the clarification Gary.

    the more flights to Aus and NZ, the merrier as far as i’m concerned, for the benefits of tourism, and reward seats.

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