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Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand Dumps Los Angeles for New York

Air New Zealand Dumps Los Angeles for New York
Joe Cortez

The flag carrier of New Zealand is getting rid of a legacy route to London in exchange for a flight to Newark, New Jersey. Air New Zealand and Star Alliance partner United Airlines announced the end of the flight by October 2020, changing the service to New York aboard a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

In one year from now, Air New Zealand will no longer offer service between Auckland and London via Los Angeles, instead opting to offer direct service to New York instead. In a press release from the airline, the flag carrier announced the end of their service between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and London Heathrow Airport (LHR) by October 2020, exchanging it for three flights weekly to Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)

What’s the Matter With Los Angeles?

On the surface, the service appeared to be destined for continued growth. Between strong international airline performance and the revitalization of Los Angeles International Airport, the “fifth freedom” route between Southern California and London was the only way to fly continually between New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Despite being one of the airline’s flagship routes for decades, the airline decided that continuing on their metal between the two Commonwealth nations via Los Angeles was not the best option. Citing strength in other route pairings, Air New Zealand said this move gives them a competitive edge across the Pacific Ocean and the first time an airline has flown between New Zealand and the New York marketplace.

“Visitor growth to New Zealand is strongest from North America and performance of our new service to Chicago is exceeding expectations,” Jeff McDowall, chief executive of Air New Zealand, said in a press release. “New York has been an aspiration for Air New Zealand for some time and withdrawal from the Atlantic will free up aircraft capacity to make this milestone a reality.”

At Newark Liberty International Airport, United Airlines is celebrating the move as “strengthening the joint venture relationship between Air New Zealand and United Airlines.” With Air New Zealand withdrawing from London, Kiwi flyers will have to connect to another airline to continue on towards London.

We’re Already Missing This UK Option

If you frequently travel from Los Angeles to the United Kingdome, it’s hard to get excited about this change. “The loss of a direct NZ service to LHR is sad news, even though the LAX transit is unpleasant,” writes FlyerTalker gratn. “On a brighter note, the non-stop NYC route will be exciting for customers and help open up the East Coast.”

“Single biggest thing that will suck from this will be the inability to use Air New Zealand upgrade instruments all the way to the United Kingdom,” writes JayKiwi. “Have to play the Star Alliance dice game instead, albeit once you are in New York, you have a ton of well-priced options on all carriers, not just Star Alliance.”

What’s your take on the changes by Air New Zealand? Leave your comments now in this FlyerTalk thread!

 

 

[Image: Wikimedia Commons/Ladivaza9991]

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