Qantas and American Airlines Hint Major New Zealand Announcement

10th Nov 2015

A major announcement is expected from Qantas Airways chief executive and American Airlines chief executive as the two visit Wellington, New Zealand this Wednesday to meet with Transport Minister Simon Bridges.

The allied airlines didn't reveal what the meeting would be about, but there are strong rumours that they could be launching a direct codeshare from New Zealand to the United States. These rumours were further confirmed by the House of Travel Commercial Director Brent Thomas.

Thomas said it would be interesting to see if the two airlines would "dare" launch a service on a route which Air New Zealand holds a monopoly, saying:

"Los Angeles is a gateway for New Zealanders to Mainland USA."

He also said it was quite possible that Qantas and American Airlines will announce a codeshare service for trans-Tasman routes.

Currently, Air New Zealand is the only local carrier to offer direct flights from NZ to US. Air NZ flies from Auckland to San Francisco and Los Angeles, and will also add a new service to Houston, Texas starting December. In addition, this carrier flies from Auckland to Honolulu, as part of its partnership with Hawaiian Airlines.

As part of their alliance, Qantas launched a direct Sydney-San Francisco flight, while American Airlines flies from Los Angeles to Sydney.

In addition, another US carrier, United Airlines, recently announced it will commence a three-weekly service from San Fran to Auckland in July. They will use a 242-seat Boeing 787-8 for the route.

Analyst for the Centre for Aviation Blake Moore said he expects American to reveal it would use Boeing 787 Dreamliners on the Auckland-Los Angeles route as part of its partnership with the Australian carrier.