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United Airlines Announces Largest Ever South Pacific Expansion, Including New Christchurch Service

United Airlines has today announced their largest-ever South Pacific Network expansion, including new direct service between San Francisco and Christchurch, New Zealand from December 1st, 2023.

United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner - Courtesy United Airlines

On Tuesday (April 18, 2023), United Airlines announced their largest-ever South Pacific network expansion, including the first nonstop service between San Francisco (SFO) and Christchurch (CHC) starting December 1st, 2023. United will be the only airline directly connecting the U.S. with New Zealand’s South Island. With 66 weekly flights between the U.S. and Australia/New Zealand, United will operate 40 percent more flights between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand during the next northern winter versus last year. The airline is also adding new direct lights from Los Angeles (LAX) to Brisbane (BNE) and Auckland (AKL), and increasing service from San Francisco (SFO) with daily flights to Brisbane (BNE), and double-daily flights to Sydney (SYD). United will also operate larger aircraft between San Francisco and Melbourne (MEL). Additionally, inbound customers to Australia and new Zealand will enjoy seamless onward connectivity to over 50 regional destinations thanks to United’s partnerships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia.

In Tuesday’s announcement, United Airlines’ SVP – Global Network Planning and Alliances, Patrick Quayle, said,

“This past winter, United enhanced our network and became the largest carrier to the South Pacific region. Now, this upcoming winter, we will expand even further. 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.”

United Airlines already flies to more destinations in Australia and New Zealand than all other U.S. carriers combined, and will now offer more flights and service more destinations in the region than any other airline in the world. As previously mentioned, From December 1st, 2023, the carrier will launch exclusive service between San Francisco and Christchurch. The route will operate three times weekly with a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The carrier will also expand their position as the largest U.S. airline to Auckland, with the addition of four weekly flights from Los Angeles, complementing existing service from San Francisco. The LAX-AKL route will be operated with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from October 28, 2023.

During winter 2022, United became the only U.S. airline offering direct flights between Brisbane and San Francisco, and on November 29, 2023, the airline will add three weekly flights between Los Angeles and Brisbane with a Boeing 797-9 Dreamliner. In addition to the new services, United will also increase frequencies from San Francisco to Brisbane and Sydney. Starting October 28, 2023, the airline will offer daily flights between SFO and Brisbane with a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. On the same date, United will also offer double-daily service between SFO and Sydney with Boeing 777-300ERs. Last winter United became the largest airline from the U.S. to Melbourne with 10-14 weekly returns, with daily service from both San Francisco and Los Angeles. From October 28th, the airline will deploy their largest airplane, a Boeing 777-300ER on the San Francisco-Melbourne route, an addition of nearly 100 daily seats on each departure.

Source: United Airlines


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