Sign Up for Our Monthly Asia Newsletter
American Airlines has announced plans to begin daily flights between Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Auckland Airport in June 2016, becoming the only domestic carrier to offer nonstop service from the U.S. mainland to New Zealand.
“Auckland is a thriving destination for business and leisure travelers,” said Doug Parker, chairman and CEO for American Airlines. “We’ve seen a strong increase for demand from U.S. customers who need more nonstop access to New Zealand.”
Air New Zealand is currently the only other carrier offering nonstop flights between the U.S. mainland and Auckland. Hawaiian Airlines provides nonstop service between the New Zealand capital and Honolulu three times per week.
“Customers will benefit with the introduction of competition on this route,” said Casey Norton, director of corporate communications for American Airlines, of the carrier’s planned LAX-Auckland segment. “With more than one carrier to choose from, we’re offering customers more options to find the flight schedules and amenities that best suit their travel needs.”
American will operate the new route onboard Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners, the most recent addition to the carrier’s fleet. The planes will feature international Wi-Fi access, along with other state-of the-art entertainment options in three onboard seat product offerings, Norton says.
“The aircraft is configured with 28 fully lie-flat business-class seats, each with direct-aisle access,” he said. “There are an additional 55 main cabin extra seats with extra legroom and 143 main cabin seats, which will provide up to 6 inches of more legroom.”
Norton notes that each seat on the LAX-Auckland route will have touch-screen monitors equipped with up to 260 movies, 240 television shows, 13 radio channels, 350 albums and 20 games, and each seat will also have its own AC power outlet and a USB connection.
The 787-8 Dreamliners also provide increased humidity to travelers, along with a pressurization that more closely reflects what is found around sea level, meaning travelers will feel “more refreshed after their flight,” according to Norton.
“The pressurization and humidity are unique to the 787,” he said. “The composite materials allow for higher air pressure and higher humidity.”
American Airlines has added six new trans-Pacific routes over the last three years, nearly doubling its presence in the region, according to carrier officials.