Air New Zealand will drop it’s Auckland – Los Angeles – London Heathrow route in October 2020.
The move is in response to the airline starting non-stop flights between its Auckland base and Newark.
“Air New Zealand is strongest when operating direct flights to and from our home base and this reset will put us in the best possible position to take advantage of increasing demand across the Pacific Rim.Jeff McDowall, CEO Air New Zealand
“Visitor growth to New Zealand is strongest from North America and performance of our new service to Chicago is exceeding expectations. 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,”
Air New Zealand first started flying to London in 1982, with a twice weekly service into London Gatwick. By 1994, the airline had moved its London base to Heathrow.
At one point, the airline was the only one that offered a truly global service. Whilst one of the airlines flights flew London-Los Angeles-Auckland, a second flight made a stop over in Hong Kong on its ways to Auckland. The Hong Kong routing was dropped in March 2013.
The flights were operated by Boeing 747-400 aircraft, although in recent years the service was switched to the more economical Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.
The new route between Auckland and Newark will be operated with the new 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. The specific aircraft allocated to the route will feature a premium heavy cabin with more business class and premium economy seats.
At 8809mi, the Auckland-Newark route will be the worlds fifth longest air route by distance, coming in behind:
- Singapore Airlines, Singapore-Newark: 9534mi
- Qatar Airways, Auckland-Doha: 9032mi
- Qantas, Perth-London: 9009mi
- Emirates, Auckland-Dubai: 8823mi
In leaving London, Air New Zealand will rely on its Star Alliance and codeshare partners for traffic between London and New Zealand.