American Airlines will commence a daily nonstop service between Los Angeles and Auckland in June.
The route will be the first by one of the “Big Three” US carriers to connect North America with Auckland, although it will be closely followed by United’s upcoming direct service from San Francisco, due to take-off the following month (see news, October 9).
Flight numbers have yet to be announced, but the 13-hour outbound service will depart Los Angeles at 1045 and arrive in Auckland at 0635 two days later. The return leg will leave Auckland at 1320 and land at LAX at 0630 the same day.
The daily service will be operated by a B787-8 in a two-class configuration, with 28 seats in business and 198 in Main Cabin (economy), of which 55 have been designated as Main Cabin Extra seats with more legroom.
Oneworld partner Qantas will place its marketing code on the flights, as an extension of its ongoing joint business venture with American.
The two airlines have implemented a route revenue share agreement for Qantas’ Sydney–San Francisco route, and American’s daily flights between Los Angeles and Sydney, both due to begin next month.
Alan Joyce, Qantas Group chief executive, said: “American’s new nonstop Auckland-Los Angeles service is supported by Jetstar’s domestic connections to 11 destinations within New Zealand and Qantas Group’s nearly 40 daily flights to Australia.”