July 4, 2022

With New Zealand’s borders having reopened, American plans to launch a flight between Dallas and Auckland. However, the carrier’s overall network to New Zealand will look different than before.

American plans seasonal Dallas to Auckland route

American Airlines plans to operate a daily nonstop flight between Dallas (DFW) and Auckland (AKL) as of late 2022. The flight will operate seasonally, initially between October 29, 2022, and March 25, 2023. At 7,440 miles, this will be American’s second longest route, after Los Angeles to Sydney (Dallas to Hong Kong used to be the longest route, but there’s no sign of that returning).

American will use a Boeing 787-9 for Auckland flights, featuring a total of 285 seats, including 30 business class seats, 21 premium economy seats, and 234 economy seats.

American hasn’t yet revealed the schedule for this route, but it’s expected that the flight will go on sale as of this weekend. For what it’s worth, American was first supposed to launch this route in late 2020, but it got delayed due to the pandemic. At the time, the plan was for the route to operate with the following schedule (so I suspect it will be similar this time around):

Dallas to Auckland departing 10:30PM arriving 7:40AM (+2 days)
Auckland to Dallas departing 11:15AM arriving 7:10AM

American’s Boeing 787-9 business class

American cuts other New Zealand routes

Pre-pandemic, American Airlines operated a seasonal flight between Los Angeles and Auckland. This was operated as part of the carrier’s transpacific joint venture with Qantas, though it was suspended in early 2020.

In October 2019, American announced plans to launch two new routes to New Zealand:

  • American was going to launch a seasonal Dallas to Auckland route as of October 2020
  • American was going to launch a seasonal Los Angeles to Christchurch route as of October 2020

As you’d expect, these routes were postponed. With this latest update:

  • American’s Dallas to Auckland flight replaces the carrier’s Los Angeles to Auckland flight, so that route is being axed
  • There are no signs of the Los Angeles to Christchurch route launching; so while it’s not officially canceled, it’s also not bookable for any point in the future

It’s pretty incredible to see how American has scaled back its network in Los Angeles. Years ago LAX was supposed to become a huge transpacific hub for American, while at this point the carrier only has long haul flights to London and Sydney scheduled. We’ve seen American cut routes to Beijing, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Shanghai, Tokyo, etc.

Admittedly Dallas has a lot more connecting traffic for American than Los Angeles does, but in some way it’s surprising that American couldn’t make a Los Angeles to Auckland flight work in conjunction with Qantas, to give Air New Zealand some competition.

American is giving up on LAX

Bottom line

American Airlines is launching a seasonal Dallas to Auckland route as of October 2022, which is exciting. Unfortunately this is coming at the expense of American’s Los Angeles to Auckland route, and there’s also no sign of a Los Angeles to Christchurch route launching.

We’re continuing to see American totally give up on long haul service out of Los Angeles, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.

What do you make of American’s Dallas to Auckland route, plus the carrier retreating at LAX?

See also  Bittersweet: My Last Emirates Flight With Toby