American Airlines is launching nonstop service from DFW Airport to Auckland, New Zealand, starting late next year.
Customers can begin buying tickets for the new route beginning Nov. 30, although the flights will not take place for almost a year. It’s a seasonal service that will be Oct. 25, 2020 through March 25, 2021.
Flights will initially leave DFW three times a week — Wednesday, Friday and Sunday — beginning Oct. 25. Then, starting Dec. 1 of next year, flights will depart DFW daily.
The airline says customers in 70 cities across the United States will now have access to New Zealand, by making a single stop at DFW.
“This will be the largest gateway to Auckland,” Vasu Raja, American senior vice president of network strategy, said in a phone interview. He noted that American, which has its world headquarters in Fort Worth, now offers about 900 flights per day at DFW.
“People in Monroe, La., Milwaukee, Minneapolis — name your market. There’s literally only one flight that connects them to New Zealand,” he said.
The flight to Auckland will take 15 hours and 15 minutes, he said. Flights will be on American’s Boeing 787-9 jets, which feature 30 Flagship Business seats and 21 Premium Economy seats.
“Also, it’s in the newest airplane we have in our fleet, with an entirely pressurized interior,” Raja said. “Despite the length of the flight, it’s humidity-controlled. When you arrive there, you don’t feel as tired, jet lagged and dried out as you would on planes of yesteryear.”
American also is expanding its footprint in New Zealand by offering what it is billing as the only nonstop service from Los Angeles to Christchurch, a popular destination on the country’s South Island. That service is scheduled to begin Oct. 7. (Tickets go on sale Nov. 9.)
“The South Island is a must-see for any international visitor to New Zealand,” Stephen England-Hall, Tourism New Zealand’s chief executive, said in an email. “Thanks to the new non-stop flights from Los Angeles to Christchurch and Dallas (DFW) to Auckland, it is now easier than ever before to experience all that unique and welcoming New Zealand has to offer.”
American says the new routes were made possible by a new joint business agreement with Qantas Airways, an Australia-based carrier. The partnership allows passengers book flights on either airline using codesharing, and also to enjoy frequent flyer benefits.
Travelers on the Los Angeles-to-Christchurch route will be offering connections to Wellington and Melbourne, Australia via connections with Qantas and Jetstar.
Qantas plans to expand its current route from DFW to Sydney, Australia, which currently operates six times per week, to a daily schedule beginning next summer, officials said.