United Airlines launch new seasonal services
- April 19, 2023
United Airlines will add more flights between the United States and New Zealand for 2024 summer, including a new non-stop service to Christchurch and a new route from Los Angeles to Auckland.
United Airlines will become the only airline to directly connect South Island of New Zealand to the United States when it launches a seasonal direct service from Christchurch to San Francisco from 1 December 2024 as a part of it’s largest South Pacific network expansion. The airline will also launch a new route connecting the popular Los Angeles to Auckland route. With the launch of the new routes, the airline will be 70% larger in New Zealand than in 2019.
Boeing 787 to operate on new routes
Boeing 787 will be the aircraft of choice operating on the newly launched New Zealand routes. Christchurch to San Francisco will be operated on a B787-8 and Auckland to Los Angeles on a B787-9.
San Francisco – Christchurch
United will offer direct flights between the United States and New Zealand’s South Island, with the first direct San Francisco-Christchurch service. United will fly this route three times weekly on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The service will commence on 1 December 2023
Los Angeles – Auckland
United will build on its position as the largest U.S. airline to Auckland, adding four weekly flights from Los Angeles. United is the only U.S. carrier to serve Auckland year-round with its existing service from San Francisco. United will fly its Los Angeles-Auckland route on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. The service will commence from 28 October 2023.
United 787 Four Class Cabin on-board
Travellers will have more choices on the United B787 with a four class offering on the new routes. The B787-9 features 48 seats in the award-winning United Polaris Business Class, 21 seats in the United Premium Class, 39 seats in the United Economy Plus and 149 in United Economy.
On-board Polaris Business Class, guests can enjoy 1-2-1 configuration, a 6’6″ seat pitch and a 180 degree seat recline. This coupled with a very engaged United service and superb dining options.
Guests can also enjoy award-winning United Polaris lounges in San Francisco and Los Angeles. United Polaris lounges offer guests unmatched service and comfort with a range of food and beverage options including private dining.
Guests can relax with a range of cocktails and complementary beverages at the lounges.
Seasonality of the service no big respite for lower airfares
Although the seasonal services would assist with New Zealanders travelling to the United States during the summer season, these routes mainly serve the inbound market with limited opportunities for competitive airfares , said airline veteran and expert Darren McGregor. “As these routes have been put in place to mainly serve the inbound market to New Zealand, I believe the imbalances created between the inbound and outbound markets will result in some opportunities at certain points during the seasonal services for some competitive airfares from NZ that the consumer will be able to take advantage of”, added Darren.
Asked if expansion of US airlines to New Zealand is a contention for Kiwis choosing to fly from the U.S. to Europe debunking the well established Asian trunk route Darren said, “With the trunk routes highly constrained via Asia and with the lack of services from carriers such as Thai Airways and Cathay Pacific, this will certainly open up the U.S. as a more affordable alternative to transit point to Europe, however, the majority of passengers will still opt to travel via Asia and Middle East due to its relative ease of transit versus the U.S., especially for families.”