Breaking: American Airlines Announces Interesting New Zealand Expansion

American Airlines today announced an expansion of its service to New Zealand. These routes will launch just in time for the northern winter season in 2020. These new routes will give American a leg up in Oceania after enhancing their partnership with Qantas.

American Airlines 787 New Zealand
American Airlines will be expanding greatly into New Zealand. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

New Dallas to Auckland route

American Airlines will launch a new thrice-weekly service between its largest hub in Dallas and Auckland from October 25th, 2020. From December 1st, American will upgrade the frequency of this route to a daily service. The seasonal suspension of this route will commence from March 27th. Throughout this operating period, American Airlines will fly a Boeing 787-9 on this route.

American Airlines Boeing 787
American Airlines will be using Boeing 787 aircraft on new flights to New Zealand. Photo: Boeing

New Los Angeles to Christchurch route

Out of Los Angeles, American Airlines is launching a new flight to Christchurch. Running from October 25th through March 26th, this thrice-weekly service will run with a smaller Boeing 787-8. Unlike its Dallas to Auckland service, American Airlines will not upgrade this flight to daily service in December.

American Airlines concept on taxiway
American is adding 787s to the Pacific. Photo: America Airlines

Both routes will see lie-flat business class seats and complimentary inflight entertainment. These will be welcome for the long trek across the Pacific.

AA 787 Interior
American Airlines will have lie-flat seats across the Pacific on their Boeing 787s. Photo: American Airlines

But, that is not all for American’s expansion in New Zealand. Seasonal Los Angeles to Auckland service onboard Boeing 787-9 aircraft will commence a few weeks earlier on October 7th and run through March 2021.


American’s New Zealand expansion plans are aptly timed for connections. The Dallas flight will depart at 10:30 PM local time and arrive early in the morning in Auckland. Meanwhile, Los Angeles to Christchurch will depart from LAX at 11:30 PM local time with arrival scheduled in the morning two days later. For the return flight, Auckland to Dallas gets in a 7:15 AM while Christchurch to Los Angeles will arrive at 6:00 AM local time.

American Airlines will be able to optimize connections with this schedule. Photo: Tom Boon – Simple Flying

Passengers will thus be able to get on these flights from a host of origin points in the United States. And, on the return, the early morning arrivals will ensure nationwide coverage through American connections. For those who are perhaps a little more adventurous, one could add a connection on a Europe-bound flight. With Air New Zealand set to end its Los Angeles-London service in favor of nonstop Auckland-New York service, it will be interesting to see if American Airlines sees any sort of uptick in passengers connecting onwards to Europe.

American 787 Takeoff
American Airlines is betting big on the Pacific with its new Qantas partnership. Photo: Boeing


This expansion is welcome news for travelers looking at more options to visit Australia or New Zealand. American does credit its joint venture with Qantas as a catalyst for its New Zealand service expansion. These new routes will help solidify American’s presence in the transpacific market. It will be interesting to see if any other carriers also see an opportunity to increase services to Oceania.

Will you fly on any of American’s new routes to New Zealand? Let us know in the comments!


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Hopefully Qantas codeshares with AA by allowing MEL passengers to transfer in Auckland for DFW flight (similar time what Qantas did with LATAM for non SYD passengers) And well done to AA for going to Christchurch! Will keep Air New Zealand (Air Auckland) on their toes!


Lol, connections to Europe! I don’t think people want to get bashed, abused, treated like a criminal, AND have to get their bags and check them in again just to transit in the crumbling heap of junk that is LAX!


If only they came to Wellington. Even though our runway is too short, they could do a stop over in Australia

Boeing 777-200LR

Yayyy!! Can’t believe its coming to chch! Me and my friends said united wouldnt but american might. so happy!


This will be great for Christchurch. At the moment they would have to have 2 stop to most of North America, being able to connect in LAX will reduce travel times and costs hopefully.


AA should also add a MEL run too.With QF,they can easily share route, something that UA will find difficult to do, as it doesn’t have no real partner on AUS USA.
UA closest partner is NZ.
QF AA would own the route

Gary M

We are flying to AKL next month. MIA-IAH then connecting with Air NZ down to AKL. We’ve booked a row of Sky Couch seats which gives us three seats with more leg room, etc. We did that in 2016 and it was great having a bigger row between the two… Read more »