American Launching Los Angeles To Auckland Flight In June 2016

This announcement should come as no surprise.

In June American and Qantas announced an expansion of their partnership and joint venture, whereby American would launch flights between Los Angeles and Sydney as of this December. Furthermore, Qantas announced they’d restart flights between San Francisco and Sydney as part of this partnership, which is an exciting route to bring back.

During that press conference, Doug Parker expressed interest in launching flights to New Zealand, which have been talked about a lot since. United actually beat them to the punch in announcing the flight in early October, when they revealed they’d begin flying from San Francisco to Auckland 3x weekly as of July 2016.

Well, it’s now official that American will be launching flights to Auckland as well.

American will begin daily flights between Los Angeles and and Auckland as of June 2016. It’s super interesting to note that while United beat American to the punch in announcing the flights, American is launching the service first, even though June is off season down under.

Auckland-1

The flight will operate with the following schedule:

Los Angeles to Auckland departing 10:45PM arriving 6:35AM (+2 days)
Auckland to Los Angeles departing 1:20PM arriving 6:30AM

The route will be flown by a Boeing 787-8, featuring a total of 226 seats, including:

  • 28 Business Class seats
  • 57 Main Cabin Extra seats
  • 141 Main Cabin Seats

American-787

American’s 787 business class is a solid product, with fully flat seats all featuring direct aisle access. Seats alternate between facing forwards and backwards.

American-787

American-787-2

This route is fantastic for many reasons:

  • New Zealand will become much more accessible — presently Air New Zealand is the only airline flying nonstop between the US mainland and New Zealand, and not surprisingly fares tend to be high and there’s virtually no award availability
  • This will be part of the American/Qantas joint venture — this allows passengers to connect on Jetstar flights within New Zealand, or on any of Qantas’ flights to Australia
  • This is adding transpacific capacity to Australia — even if New Zealand isn’t your final destination, this is a great new option for getting to Australia, given the number of connecting flights Qantas operates between the two countries

Jetstar-New-Zealand-Destinations
Jetstar destinations within New Zealand

I’ll post again once the new Auckland flight becomes bookable.

Bottom line

New Zealand is one of my favorite countries in the world, so I’m very excited about this new flight. My guess is that there will be very little, if any, award availability, but at least in theory I’ll be able to use my American systemwide upgrades to upgrade from economy to business class on these flights.

And it also makes one of my favorite place in the world — Queenstown — more easily accessible.

Crowne-Plaza-Queenstown

Qantas operated flights between Los Angeles and Auckland up until a few years ago, but couldn’t make it work. This is finally the right opportunity, given the joint venture, the right plane (the 787 is a perfect fit), low oil prices, etc.

Are you excited about American’s new flight between Los Angeles and Auckland?

Comments

  1. Will this route entail your first review of B787 J seat?
    On the other hand, from what I heard and experienced, the 28 J of AA’s 787 just makes it harder to clear upgrades, on the legacy routes previously flown by 777. LAX-AKL might be different though as an entire new route

  2. Is Air New Zealand award space always horrible, horrible nowadays, or what? You managed to snag a flight on them from London (to LAX) back in 2011, so…

    Looking to fly Air New Zealand upfront. Flew Air New Zealand down the back back in early 2014, and now in 3-4-3 not looking forward to repeating that…

  3. Congrats to AA. They will give NZ a huge run for their money.

    Whereas I agree with many, that there have been way too many CX, LH and EK reviews. I must say its a little refreshing to have them reviewed by someone new to international premium travel, and even better that its his boyfriend. A few years back I did comment on a post, where I said once Ben had a bf, travel would become even more enjoyable… than lapping around the world solo.

    Never thought he’d have his boyfriend post reviews, but I must said it has added life to this site…giving it a nice refresh.

    Safe travels!

  4. I’ll play Devil’s Advocate and say AA is going to bleed cash on this route. Australia and New Zealand’s economies are not very balanced and NZ is quickly going to be over serviced. AA feed at LAX is not like AA’s feed at DFW or ORD so AA is also taking a big chance on sending so much traffic via LAX.

    The only saving grace for AA here is that NZ is 10-across Y on their 777-300s so AA’s 9-across Y on the 788s is not going to be a huge disadvantage in terms of pax comfort.

  5. Yay! Great for AA and those who want to be on an extra long flight to be constantly berated, belittled and experience horrible service with attitude! Why would you put yourself through this torture? Go through asia or fly NZ or Qantas. Once fuel prices rise this flight will be the first to be cut.

  6. Between this flight, ANZ’s flights, and the new United SFO-AKL flights, do you think we’ll see any premium cabin availability? Is there enough demand to fill premium cabin seats with paid passengers on all three routes?

  7. Lucky has a bf now? Really? Or is it just someone going through the motions with him just to get a piece of the “notoriety”? It won’t last once the guy gets some “fame” and will dump Mr. Aspies Whack Teeth so fast. So fast.

  8. I was just looking for some premium cabin space to AKL in June…

    Any thoughts as to when these flights will be loaded in the schedule? Or know of a way to get such a notification?

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