American Airlines announced Monday it will launch flights from Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) to Auckland, New Zealand (AKL) next year as well as Los Angeles (LAX) to Christchurch, the first nonstop U.S. flight to New Zealand's southern island.
Both new seasonal flights will begin late next October, running three times weekly through late March of 2021. Both flights are expected to go on sale Nov. 30.
American already flies seasonally from Los Angeles (LAX) to Auckland, as does Air New Zealand. But direct flights from Dallas offer an easier way for Midwesterners and East Coast residents to reach New Zealand's largest city. And American stakes out new ground with flights to Christchurch, typically at least another flight away for most travelers.
“The South Island sums up everything that our customers are looking for in New Zealand — adventure, culture and wildlife found nowhere else,” said Vasu Raja, American’s senior vice president of network strategy, said in a statement. “We want to make their lifelong dreams a reality and bring New Zealand’s beauty even closer as the gateway to the South Island where you can drive, hike, cruise and fly to a variety of classic New Zealand experiences.”
Both flights will operate on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The flight to Auckland from Dallas will have more business class seats onboard, with a total of 30.
American executives said its recent joint partnership with Australia's Qantas led to the new routes. It's just the latest new service to New Zealand from the U.S., after Air New Zealand announced last week it would begin flights between Newark (EWR) and Auckland (AKL).
Here's a look at American's planned schedule for both new flights.
It's an exciting time to be a traveler. Low fuel prices and a strong economy have given airlines an opening to try new things and get creative. These new flights to Auckland and Christchurch are just the latest example.