Air New Zealand welcomes today’s announcement by United Airlines that it will enter the New Zealand market, launching a San Francisco – Auckland service from July next year.
Air New Zealand and United Airlines have a longstanding partnership and in April this year signed a Statement of Intent to deepen and further define this alliance on routes between New Zealand and mainland USA.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says United Airlines has supported Air New Zealand in launching its new Auckland – Houston service and today’s announcement is another important step in expanding the partnership, with the airlines working together to promote both carriers’ services between Auckland and San Francisco.
“The United States is New Zealand’s third largest tourism source market, contributing almost a billion dollars to our economy in the past financial year. We know there are more than 30 million Americans actively considering New Zealand as a holiday destination. To have a partner carrier with a network like United Airlines promoting destination New Zealand and attracting visitors through its immense sales and distribution channels will provide a significant boost to inbound tourism,” Mr Luxon says. “We look forward to working together with United to continue to build the links between New Zealand and the U.S.”
United Airlines Vice Chairman and Chief Revenue Officer Jim Compton says “We’re very excited to add Auckland to United’s industry-leading global route network. In addition to direct service to San Francisco, our New Zealand customers will benefit from United’s expansive network across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Central and South America.”
“We have a long history of working together with our partners at Air New Zealand to provide customers with expansive travel options across and between the United States, New Zealand, and beyond. With the launch of United’s new San Francisco service and Air New Zealand’s new Houston service, we are expanding our partnership, and bringing the benefit of even more service options to the traveling public,” said Mr Compton.
Subject to United Airlines obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals it will begin operating a three times weekly 787-8 service between San Francisco and Auckland from July, moving to daily services operated by a larger 787-9 aircraft from November 2016.
Air New Zealand currently operates a daily service from Auckland to San Francisco, 18 return services per week from Auckland to Los Angeles, four services per week to Vancouver and four services per week to Honolulu. From December 15 the airline will also commence direct services from Auckland to Houston five times per week.