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An Air New Zealand Boeing 787 Dreamliner landing in Houston. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Air New Zealand Adds Newark, Ends London to Los Angeles Segment

Air New Zealand has announced that it will be commencing service from Auckland to Newark, N.J. pending regulatory approval.

The flight will be operated three times a week, year-round and will be flown on the carrier’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

In creating the new route, the carrier will also be ending one of its more iconic routes. Effective October 2020, the carrier will end its daily Los Angeles to London service.

The route was a key link between the Pacific nation and Europe, but suspension of the route will allow the carrier to focus on what it believes is a growing market.

“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 mile stone a reality,” said acting CEO of Air New Zealand, Jeff McDowall in a press release.

The Los Angeles to London route commenced in 1982, but greater competition in the Atlantic market has caused the carrier to reevaluate.

“Today Kiwis have more than twice the number of ways to fly to London than a decade ago and preferences have changed. Less than seven percent of all airline travelers between Auckland and London chose to fly via Los Angeles last year,” said McDowall.

The route closure will also impact around 130 people, including cabin crew and sales staff. The carrier has expressed that they are committed to working to find opportunities for its staff in other areas of the airline.

Air New Zealand will still maintain a sales presence in Europe, as two thirds of revenue generated by its London sales team is unrelated to the Atlantic market.

“The Atlantic has become one of the most hotly contested routes in the world and Air New Zealand lacks the home market advantages and scale of the North American and European airlines we’re up against,” added McDowall.

While the Los Angeles to London service will operate until next year, tickets will no longer be sold on the route as of Tuesday.

Tickets for the new Auckland to Newark route will go on sale soon, according to the airline.

Akhil Dewan
Akhil Dewan
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