American will be the first airline to fly between the U.S.
and the South Island of New Zealand.
The carrier will launch thrice-weekly service between Los
Angeles and Christchurch on Oct. 25, 2020. The seasonal service will extend
through March 27, 2021.
While New Zealand’s North Island is home to the country’s
primary business hub of Auckland, the South Island offers many of New Zealand’s
most popular tourist destinations, including adventure tourism locale
"The South Island sums up everything that our customers are
looking for in New Zealand -- adventure, culture and wildlife found nowhere
else," said Vasu Raja, American’s senior vice president of network strategy.
"We want to make their lifelong dreams a reality and bring New Zealand’s beauty
even closer as the gateway to the South Island, where you can drive, hike,
cruise and fly to a variety of classic New Zealand experiences."
The route is one of two to New Zealand that American
announced Monday, an expansion that the carrier attributes to its joint venture
with Qantas. The second new route, also seasonal, is Dallas-Auckland. It will
launch on Oct. 25, 2020, flying three times per week initially and expanding to
daily on Dec. 1. The service will continue through March 27, 2021.
The carrier will fly both New Zealand routes with a
three-cabin Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Along with economy seating, the aircraft offers
30 Flagship Business seats and 21 premium economy seats.