Demonstrating the strength of “long and thin” capabilities of the Boeing 787, American Airlines is to start a service between Los Angeles and Auckland in New Zealand.
The route was launched with a bit of glitz and glam with American Airlines chairman and CEO, Doug Parker,New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key and Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce attending.
The route is planned to operate on a daily basis, with the following timetable:
DEPART LAX 22:45 ARRIVE AKL 06:35+2 DEPART AKL 13:20 ARRIVE LAX 06:30 Booked equipment: Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Commences June 2016 (Exact date to be confirmed).
The route is subject to approval by regulators, and will be operated in conjunction with Qantas as a joint venture service.
For those interested in comfort, American Airlines configure their planes with:
- 28 Business Class seats in 1-2-1 formation
- 55 Main Cabin Extra seats in 3-3-3 formation
- 143 Main Cabin seats in 3-3-3 formation
3-3-3 on a segment this long is not going to be comfortable, especially with how people are squeezed in aboard a Dreamliner.
American Airlines is touting this route for business and lesuire travellers who need to cross the Pacific with US passengers requiring direct access to New Zealand.
Interestingly, this comes after United Airlines launched its plans to operate a direct service to New Zealand in July 2016 – with American Airlines undercutting United Airlines by a month.
Currently, the route Los Angels to Auckland route is contested by Air New Zealand and Air Tahiti Nui.
It’s not a surprising move that American Airlines is adding more Trans-Pacific routes such as this – with a Joint Venture with Qantas to alleviate the risk, and efficient aircraft such as the Boeing 787, the promise of longer and thinner routes was given
It seems that the promise is coming true.
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