Yay! As of October 25, 2020, American Airlines will begin flying nonstop to New Zealand from Dallas/Ft. Worth. The new flight will initially be thrice weekly until November 29, 2020 at which point the route will become a daily offering through March 25, 2021. American will use a Boeing 787-9 on this route with 30 business class seats, 21 premium economy Seats, 36 “Main Cabin Extra” Seats, and 198 “Main Cabin” seats. Tickets go on sale November 3, 2019 so be on the look out for award seats as soon as the tickets go on sale.
The proposed schedule for the flight is as follows:
DFW – AKL
Departs 10:30pm (CST) | Arrives 8:40 am (+2 days)
Departs 11:15 am | Arrives 12:15pm (CST) (Same Day)
This represents the 68th international destination served by DFW Airport and 260th destination overall. In 2019 alone, the airport has added 19 new international routes, and international passenger traffic is up 8.8 percent since the previous year.
It’s nice to see American finally get this route underway from DFW. However, it’s by no means an risky expansion for the airline especially given the amount of connector feed they have in and out of DFW. In a way it’s quite disappointing that they’ve neglected this type of DFW expansion for a while now and just handed the reigns over to Qantas. Not that this adds much competition given the code share between the two airlines, but it may yet bring the prices down overall given all the new services offered by Air New Zealand. Now if we could just get American to fly to Zurich nonstop from DFW once again………
Additional Route Announcement:
In addition to the this, American also announced new nonstop service between Los Angeles and Christchurch, New Zealand, which will be the first nonstop service between the South Island of NZ and the United States. There is no doubt that this is more of a leisure route given that they are flying a 787-8 and that there are virtually no connecting options from Christchurch other then 3-4 flights to Australia.
The new route will run thrice weekly between October 27, 2020 and March 26, 2021 with the following schedule:
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8 (20 Business Class Seats, 28 Premium Economy Seats, 48 Main Cabin Extra Seats, 138 Main Cabin Seats)
LAX – CHC
Departs 11:30PM (PST) | Arrives 9:25 AM (+2 Days)
CHC – LAX
Departs 1:10PM | Arrives 6:00 AM (PST) (Same Day)
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If I weren’t based out of Dallas, I would actually say that this is perhaps the most exciting route I’ve heard about in recent times. It really comes to show that AA is getting bolder with its route strategy and tackling smaller under served destinations. The South Island of New Zealand happens to be one of the most beautiful places on Earth. In addition to this, the people are very friendly and the food is absolutely delicious (with plenty of vegetarian options everywhere). Christchurch is of course not terribly far from the Mt Cook National Park and Lake Tekapo Dark Sky Area, which happen to be one of my favorite places on earth.
If you are interested in reading more about my adventures in New Zealand, here is a list of those trip reports: