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Direct Flights Now Available Between the US and New Zealand

Direct Flights Now Available Between the US and New Zealand

Joanna Teljeur
Written By Joanna Teljeur
2 minutes read
Last Updated: December 12, 2023

United Airlines has reached a milestone by becoming the first U.S. carrier to operate direct flights to New Zealand’s South Island. The first flight on this new route, UA730, successfully completed the journey from San Francisco (SFO) to Christchurch (CHC) that marks the commencement of this historic route.

Because of this launch, United Airlines has established itself as the only airline that offers non-stop flights between the South Island and the United States which furthers its position in the region.

Flight schedules and aircraft

This new, direct flight will operate three times per week and use a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for the trans pacific journey. In the future, United plans to expand its operations with a goal to operate 66 flights between the U.S. and the South Pacific on a weekly basis by the end of 2023. This expansion is part of a notable 50% growth over the past year making it the largest ever expansion into the South Pacific in U.S aviation history.

To celebrate the historic event, the inaugural aircraft has been named the Kiwi Cruiser and adorned with New Zealand’s silver fern that symbolizes the importance of this new air link as well as the enduring partnership between United Airlines and New Zealand.

Patrick Quayle, Senior VP of Global Planning and Alliances at United expressed enthusiasm for the new route and emphasized the unique and exceptional travel experience that New Zealand offers to travelers. The non-stop flight also serves to strengthen the strategic alliance between the two airlines and allow for seamless connectivity for air passengers.

More Travel Options

United Passengers can now enjoy more travel options and convenience along with the ability to reach 35 destinations across New Zealand and the South Pacific plus more than 150 destinations in the United States. The launch of this direct route has been met with enormous support and anticipation. Industry leaders and officials expressed their excitement about the positive effect it will have on trade and tourism.

A huge boost for tourism

Justin Watson, Chief Executive of Christchurch Airport highlighted the huge opportunities that this route represents for boosting tourism and providing vital air freight capacity for South Island producers. To celebrate the historic importance of the inaugural flight, Christchurch Airport has put together a special welcome with a traditional water cannon salute upon the aircraft’s arrival. Also, Planespotter’s Park has been opened to enthusiasts and provides a unique vantage point to witness the landing and departure of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. 

The launch of this new, direct route marks a pivotal moment in the aviation industry and offers unprecedented connectivity and travel experience for passengers. It also fosters economic and cultural ties between the U.S. and New Zealand.

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