American Airlines is Launching Two New Flights to New Zealand

American Airlines has just announced two new flights to New Zealand – Dallas Fort Worth – Auckland and Los Angeles – Christchurch. Since Air New Zealand abandoned its non-stop U.S. – Christchurch flying this will be the only flight between the U.S. and New Zealand’s South Island.

Both flights are non-daily and seasonal, and add to American’s seasonal service between Los Angeles and Auckland (which will see a slightly expanded winter 2020-2021 season starting October 7).

Origin Destination Departure Time* Arrival Time* Season
DFW AKL 10:30 p.m. 7:40 a.m./8:40 a.m.
(+2 days)
Oct. 25, 2020–March 25, 2021
3 x weekly through Nov. 29
Daily starting Dec. 1
AKL DFW 11:15 a.m./12:15 p.m. 7:10 a.m. Oct. 27, 2020–March 27, 2021
3 x weekly through Nov. 29
Daily starting Dec. 3
LAX CHC 11:30 p.m. 9:25 a.m./10:25 a.m. Oct. 25, 2020–March 24, 2021
3 x weekly
CHC LAX 1:10 p.m./2:10 p.m. 6 a.m. Oct. 27, 2020–Mar

    american airlines new zealand flights to auckland
    “Bayswater Marina Auckland New Zealand” by Bayswater marina, Creative Commons

These two new routes will be available for purchase November 30th. The Christchurch flight will be on board a Boeing 787-8, which has just 20 business class seats, so don’t expect to see the front cabin. Dallas – Auckland, like Los Angeles – Auckland, will be on board a Boeing 787-9.

The Dallas flight represents the sixth U.S. city with non-stop Auckland service after Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, and Newark.

Christchurch is more unique, but won’t offer nearly as much in the way of connectivity: American suggests customers ‘will connect on Qantas to Melbourne and Jetstar to Wellington’ which is, essentially, saying there aren’t connecting opportunities.

  • Jetstar, the Qantas low cost carrier, isn’t even an AAdvantage mileage-earning partner (except that Qantas codeshares on Jetstar earn miles but not elite qualifying miles)

  • Most Los Angeles – Melbourne passengers will fly Los Angeles – Melbourne, and not via Christchurch (or via Sydney or Brisbane or Auckland).

american airlines boeing 787-8 business class
Boeing 787-8 Concept D Business Class

At one point I expected that new Dallas service as part of the Qantas joint venture would be to Brisbane however that was superceded by Qantas’ expansion from Brisbane to San Francisco and Chicago.

For all of my criticisms of the joint venture, American has focused exclusively on Los Angeles for their new transpacific routes. Despite the strong connectivity they have out of Dallas they haven’t added new Dallas – Asia Pacific flying in some time. And indeed it’s nice to see American Airlines New Zealand expansion with two new long haul routes.

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. What do you mean “dont expect to see the front cabin” on the Christchurch flight? I plan to buy a ticket with cash. I expect to see the front cabin. Many people DO use cash to buy flights, believe it or not. Dont make stupid statements like that.

  2. Why even connect out of CHC – just enjoy the south island! I spent 10 days on the South Island, mostly on the west coast. A nice drive from CHC through Arthur’s pass and over to the big glaciers like Fox and Franz Joseph. Then down through the parks/mountains to Wanaka/Central Otago and then further down to Queenstown. We did not get to the east coast of the south island or the northern end of the south island. We had to fly JFK > CAN > CHC because at the time that was the only 1 stop flight to CHC on China Southern. I wanted to avoid 3 planes.

    This may open up another trip for me to finish exploring the rest of the South Island.

  3. Oh yeah – and the flight to CHC is about going ot CHC. NOT connecting. Believe it or not, some destinations are about being an end point. Connections, if any, can be made over Auckland, but why do that anyway when you can just fly nonstop?

  4. Seeing increased flights to NZ and thus lowering the cost to travelers to reach that beautiful piece of our little blue sphere is fantastic. May the competition heat up!

  5. I wonder how much money they will lose on this new service. Seems like a bold move given all the other problems they are facing right now.

  6. I’ve visited NZ’s South Island twice and a 3rd time is on The Bucket List. This addition to CHC will make it even more pleasurable travel wise.

  7. @Jason – I think he meant don’t expect to get upgraded into business on the 787-8.

    Nice to be able to fly to South New Zealand direct from the USA.

  8. @Austin787 – it is non-stop not direct. Hate when people use “direct” to mean a non-stop flight (especially those on an airline blog that should really know better).

    Once again – in airline terms non-stop is from point A to point B without stopping. Direct is from point A to point B with one or more stops but keeping the same flight number. Now you know!

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