United Airlines will launch a new direct service from San Francisco to Auckland next year, in partnership with Air New Zealand.
Commencing in July 2016, United will serve the trans-Pacific route three times a week using its Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. And from November 2016, the route will be upgraded to a daily service using a larger B787-9 aircraft.
Air New Zealand intends to partner United on the new route, as part of the airlines’ trans-Pacific alliance on routes between the US and New Zealand.
“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,” said Air New Zealand’s CEO, Christopher Luxon.
“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.
“We look forward to working together with United to continue to build the links between New Zealand and the US,” he added.
The new services will run alongside Air New Zealand’s existing daily flights between Auckland and San Francisco. The airline also operates 18 weekly flights to Los Angeles, four to Vancouver and four to Honolulu. And from 15 December, Air New Zealand will commence five weekly services from Auckland to Houston.
United and Air New Zealand are both members of the Star Alliance.