American Airlines eyes NZ restart with Auckland, Christchurch flights

The Boeing 787 flights would reconnect New Zealand with American's hubs at Los Angeles and Dallas/Forth Worth.

By David Flynn, May 21 2021
American Airlines eyes NZ restart with Auckland, Christchurch flights

American Airlines is preparing to resume flights to New Zealand from the end of this year, assuming an easing of current restrictions which may permit travel by passengers who have been fully vaccinated.

The Oneworld member plans to reopen three US-NZ routes across December 2021-January 2022, all flown by the airline's Boeing 787 Dreamliner jets.

  • Los Angeles-Auckland is slated to resume as a daily service from December 16 2021
  • Dallas/Fort Worth-Auckland is also scheduled daily from January 4, 2022
  • Los Angeles-Christchurch will start from January 5 2022 with three flights per week

The later will see American become the only airline to fly nonstop between the US and New Zealand's South Island, with Christchurch Airport beaming on social media "we can’t wait to welcome them."

Qantas and American Airlines operate a joint venture partnership which Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in March renewed for another five years.

Under the alliance, both airlines are permitted to closely cooperate on routes from Australia and New Zealand to the United States, Canada and Mexico, and vice versa.

This includes coordinating fare prices, sharing revenue from each other’s flights, broad codesharing across the combined Qantas/AA transpacific network, as well as cost sharing to help make new international routes more viable.

Beyond the standard benefits afforded to passengers via the airlines’ mutual membership in the Oneworld alliance, the ability to earn points and status credits at higher rates – and to spend points at more favourable rates – on each airline is also part of the deal.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.