United Airlines plans late this year to significantly ramp its flying to Australia and New Zealand, including launching new flights to Auckland, Christchurch and Brisbane.
The expansion will bring United’s weekly flights between the USA and both Australia and New Zealand to 66, a 40% year-on-year rise, the airline says on 18 April.
Notably, United plans on 1 December to begin serving Christchurch with three-times weekly flights from San Francisco using Boeing 787-8s.
No other airlines currently connect the USA to Christchurch, which sits on New Zealand’s South Island, though Air New Zealand had operated Christchurch-Los Angeles flights until 2006, Cirium schedules data shows.
The expansion also includes plans by United to add four-times weekly flights between Los Angeles and Auckland starting on 28 October using 787-9s. United currently flies from San Francisco to Auckland.
The airline is also beefing up its service to Australia, with plans on 29 November to begin flying 787-9s thrice-weekly between Los Angeles and Brisbane – a new route for United.
That flight will add to United’s existing San Francisco-Brisbane flight, which it began operating in 2022.
United also plans, starting in late October, to increase to daily its now-three-times-weekly 787 flights between San Francisco and Brisbane. Additionally, it intends to add a second daily flight between San Francisco and Sydney.
United says it serves more destinations in Australia and New Zealand than other US carriers. The carrier has partnerships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia.