On Tuesday, April 18, 2023, United Airlines announced a major expansion into the South Pacific region, the biggest ever to and from the continental United States.
Direct Connectivity to New Zealand’s South Island, Increased Flights Across the Region
One significant feature of this expansion is the unveiling of a non-stop service between San Francisco and Christchurch, New Zealand. Set to commence on December 1, 2023, the establishment of this route means that United will be the only airline to directly connect the US mainland with the South Island of New Zealand.
In addition to this service, the carrier will be adding direct flights between Los Angeles and Brisbane and Los Angeles and Auckland. This South Pacific expansion will also see United increase its daily services from its San Francisco hub to Brisbane while adding two services a day between this city and Sydney.
United also plans to increase the size of the craft that it currently operates on its routes between San Francisco and Melbourne. The increased services means that United will operate 66 flights a week between the U.S. and Australia and New Zealand from next northern winter, a year-on-year increase of 40%. Tickets for these expanded South Pacific routes are now on sale via both the airline’s app and via United.com.
An Expansion Enhanced by Regional Partnerships
Even prior to this announced expansion, United offered service to more destinations in Australia and New Zealand than all other U.S. airlines combined. From next northern winter, it will connect more regional destinations from the continental United States than any other global carrier. What’s more, thanks to the airline’s partnerships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia, travelers can easily connect from any of the cities served directly by United to over 50 additional regional destinations.
Speaking of this expansion in a statement, Patrick Quayle, United’s Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances, 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.”
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Feature image courtesy: Bill Abbott/Flickr
Source: frugal travel guy