United Airlines will kick off flights to New Zealand next year with a new non-stop service between Auckland and San Francisco.
Beginning at three-times-weekly from July 3 2016 with a Boeing 787-8, that ramps up to daily service and the larger Boeing 787-9 from October 30 2016: complementing Star Alliance member Air New Zealand’s existing flights between the two cities.
“United Airlines' return to the New Zealand market will be great for travellers in both directions, and will provide a welcome boost to tourism in New Zealand,” said Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon.
“We look forward to building an even stronger partnership with United, and to working together with United to further build this market.”
United’s Auckland flights also provide a new one-stop option for Aussies heading to San Francisco and then beyond, who can fly with Air New Zealand between Auckland and the likes of Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide, before flying onwards to SFO with United.
UA916 departs Auckland at 1:20pm to reach San Francisco at 6:40am the same day, while on the return UA917 is wheels-up at 10:45pm for a 6:55am landing in Auckland two calendar days later.
You’ll find ‘BusinessFirst’ at the pointy end of United’s Dreamliners: its flagship business class product with fully-flat beds stretching to 198cm long in a 2-2-2 configuration…
… while inflight Internet connectivity is already available on every United Boeing 787-9 and is scheduled to be fitted to all of United’s Boeing 787-8 fleet by May 2016.
United currently uses the Boeing 787-9 aircraft on its daily flights between Melbourne and Los Angeles, and will switch its flights from Sydney to both Los Angeles and San Francisco to the Dreamliner from March next year.
Meanwhile, Oneworld alliance competitor American Airlines is too eyeing up flights between Auckland and the USA, while Qantas is resuming its own Sydney-San Francisco flights from December 2015.
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