United Airlines (United) has extended its services to the South Pacific with the first non-stop flight between San Francisco and Christchurch set to commence December 1.
It will be the only carrier to directly connect the US and the South Island of New Zealand.
Currently operating 66 flights between the US and Australia/New Zealand every week, United will increase this to nearly 40 per cent more flights by next northern winter.
The carrier will be adding new direct flights from Los Angeles to Brisbane and Auckland, as well as increase services to the region from its San Francisco hub with daily flights to Brisbane, twice daily flights to Sydney and flying larger aircraft to Melbourne.
In addition, United’s relationships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia will enable travellers to make connections from these cities to more than 50 destinations in the region.
Patrick Quayle, senior vice president of global network planning and alliances, United Airlines, said: “Our strong partnerships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia provide unparalleled connectivity, and with our historic expansion across five destinations in New Zealand and Australia, United is the clear choice for customers’ travel to the region.”
Starting December 1, United will offer direct flights between the US and New Zealand’s South Island, which will operate three times weekly. Come next winter, it will add four weekly flights from Los Angeles to Auckland as well as offer daily direct flights between Brisbane and San Francisco.
United will also fly twice daily between San Francisco and Sydney, and three times weekly between Los Angeles and Brisbane from November 29.
Meanwhile, the airline will ramp up its services from San Francisco and Los Angeles to Melbourne, increasing from ten to fourteen weekly roundtrip flights.