Record airline capacity growth to the U.S. from New Zealand

  • October 31, 2023

Weak Kiwi dollar and pent-up demand from U.S. travellers bring firm commitments and multi-destination fights by U.S. airlines from New Zealand

United AirlinesAKL-SFO AKL-LAX3/Week 4/Week (Seasonal)
American AirlinesAKL-DFW AKL-LAXDaily (Seasonal) Daily (Seasonal)
Delta Air linesAKL-LAXDaily to March 3/week March – October
Hawaiian AirlinesAKL-HNL3/week (Seasonal)
Air CanadaAKL-YVR4/week (Seasonal)

Delta Air lines is the latest major airlines to commence operations to New Zealand from the West Coast of the United States with daily flights from Los Angeles. Delta Air Lines has committed to year long operations reducing the 3/week in the New Zealand winter. Delta Air lines flight coincided with United Airlines, who have also commenced operations from Los Angeles to Auckland brining in record capacity to New Zealand from the Los Angeles hub.

Rob LeBel of Delta Airlines with Delta Airlines Staff. Photo: Harmeet Sehgal/NZBT

A weak Kiwi dollar and an over-stimulated U.S. travel market fuelled this growth and the U.S. carriers have responded with eagerness to capture demand. Speaking on Delta Air lines launch to Auckland, Managing Director, International and Speciality Sales, Rob LeBel said there is a lot of pent-up demand in the U.S. to travel to New Zealand.

“Strong Demand. We were very encouraged what we saw when we loaded the flight for seasonal service. And so, we’re flying daily right now till the end of March and from the strong demand pattern that we saw there, it gave us the confidence to add three times a week from March to October and then the plan is to go back to daily.”

Strong connectivity to Mainland U.S. from Los Angeles

U.S. airline operations offer unmatched connections to mainland U.S. and beyond through the L.A.X hub. Delta Air lines is the largest international carrier out of L.A.X with 55 destinations and 155 daily departures out of L.A.X and their newly developed T3 at the airport.
“We’ve just opened a new terminal T3 with an amazing financial investment for Delta with $1.9 Billion. 27 gates space so we have additional gate capacity for us to grow into and having that additional gate capacity helps us expand into new markets like New Zealand”, said Rob.

Screening area at Delta Airlines’ new T3 at LAX. Photo: Supplied

With hubs in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Dallas Fort Worth, New Zealand corporate travellers have unparalleled connectivity across mainland U.S. and beyond to Europe. With flexibility of departures, New Zealand travellers have the opportunity to immerse themselves and enjoy great U.S. outdoors by taking a stopover after the long journey from New Zealand before getting onwards to their final destination. United’s relationships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia, travellers can enjoy easy one-stop connections from these cities to more than 50 destinations around the region.

Award-winning Premium Class travel

The arrival of U.S. carriers offers a wide variety of choice and value across premium cabins offerings.

Delta One Suites. Photo: Supplied

Delta Air lines premium product Delta One, United Polaris and American Flagship Business all award-winning premium cabins with superior service and quality.

United Polaris. Photo: Supplied

New Zealand travellers are now spoilt for choice and the opportunity to select from a wide range of premium offerings.

United Lounge at Denver International Airport.
United Lounge at Denver International Airport. Photo: Supplied

The added advantage of flying premium of the U.S. carriers are the sprawling lounges at airports, some up to 33,000 sqft of premium relaxing space complete with full restaurant service, amazing bars and lounges. These come at no additional cost when booking premium travel with the respective airlines.

Brace for the busiest summer at Auckland International Airport

Passing through Auckland International Airport this summer will be at its busiest with the airport receiving two new daily flights with Delta Air lines and United adding more than 500 seat daily inbound from Los Angeles. The airport is under incredible stress as it evaluates possibilities to tackle congestion that can cause hours of delay at peak periods when the U.S. flights arrive resulting in poor customer experience.

Auckland Airport Check-in counters. Photo: NZBT

There is no quick fix for this problem as every passenger needs to be screened by Bio Security NZ before they enter the city. However, both Auckland Airport and Bio Security NZ are looking for innovative ways to manage risk and deploy measures to reduce congestion by identifying low-risk travellers and managing an effective que system.

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