After already taking the crown last year as the largest carrier to fly between the United States and the South Pacific, United is expanding its service to the region even further this coming fall and winter.
The Chicago-based airline announced Tuesday it is planning to launch three new transpacific routes to Australia and New Zealand this spring, including the first-ever nonstop flight to Christchurch (CHC), making it the only carrier directly connecting the U.S. and the South Island of New Zealand. United is also adding new direct flights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Brisbane (BNE) and Auckland (AKL) and increasing service to the region from San Francisco.
Here's the full list of routes starting up this winter, all of which are already on sale.
- San Francisco (SFO) – Christchurch, NZ (CHC) starts Dec. 1 with three flights a week on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Auckland (AKL) starts Oct. 28 flying four times a week on a Boeing 787 Dreamliner
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Brisbane (BNE) starts Nov. 29 with three flights a week on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
- United is adding daily flights between San Francisco (SFO) and Brisbane (BNE) starting Oct. 28
- United is adding a second daily nonstop flight between San Francisco (SFO) and Sydney (SYD) starting Oct. 28
- Starting Oct. 28, United will begin flying a Boeing 777-300ER to Melbourne (MEL) from both Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO), adding 100 more seats to its daily service.
In total, United said it will operate 66 direct flights between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand every week.
It's just the latest of United's long-haul expansions to the region. Last year, the airline added a new nonstop route between Brisbane and San Francisco, becoming the first U.S. carrier to offer direct service to Australia's third-largest city. And thanks to its partnerships with Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand, travelers can easily connect onward to more than 50 other destinations in the region.
“This past winter, United enhanced our network and became the largest carrier to the South Pacific region. Now, this upcoming winter, we will expand even further,” Patrick Quayle, United's Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances, said in a statement. “Our strong partnerships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia provide unparalleled connectivity, and with our historic expansion across five destinations in New Zealand and Australia, United is the clear choice for customers' travel to the region.”
United's new service between San Francisco (SFO) and Christchurch (CHC) starting this December marks the first time a U.S. carrier will fly straight to the South Island of New Zealand.
That, plus two additional new routes to Australia and New Zealand and a slew of additional flights between the region and the West Coast only further cements United as the largest carrier between the U.S. and the South Pacific.