United to launch largest South Pacific expansion in aviation history

A United Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner lifts off.
Photo Credit: United Airlines

In a milestone event US carrier United Airlines has just announced the largest South Pacific network expansion ever to and from the continental United States.

A historic first

The historic expansion plan will include the first non-stop flight between San Francisco and Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, which is set to commence on December 1.

United will effectively become the only carrier to directly connect the U.S. and the South Island of New Zealand.

The carrier is currently operating 66 flights between the US and Australia/New Zealand every week. The proposed expansion will see United operate nearly 40% more flights from the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand next northern winter versus the same period last year.

Service expansion Australia and New Zealand

The carrier will add new direct flights from Los Angeles to Brisbane, Queensland and Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island.

At the same time it will increase services to the Australian region from its San Francisco hub with daily flights to Brisbane, twice daily flights to Sydney and flying larger aircraft to Melbourne.

And thanks to United’s relationships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia, travelers can enjoy easy one-stop connections from these cities to more than 50 destinations in the region.

Australia and New Zealand presence

As it stands, United already flies to more destinations in Australia and New Zealand than all other U.S. carriers combined.

Beyond that, the US carrier will operate more flights and serve more destinations in the region from the U.S. than any other carrier in the world.

With the Australia New Zealand region approaching the peak southern winter season, the carrier has now placed these new services on sale to the travelling public.

“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,” said Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances.

“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.”

A brief outline of new services

Here is a brief outline of the key South Pacific service expansions announced by United Airlines. It should be noted that the new services are subject to governmental approval.

San Francisco – Christchurch, NZ

Starting December 1, United will be the only airline to offer direct flights between the U.S. and New Zealand’s South Island, with the first direct San Francisco-Christchurch service. United will fly this route three times weekly on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner.

Los Angeles – Auckland

From the coming northern hemisphere winter United will add four weekly flights from Los Angeles to its existing services from San Francisco. The airline will fly the new Los Angeles-Auckland route on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, starting October 28.

Los Angeles – Brisbane

United is presently the only airline to offer direct flights between Brisbane and San Francisco. On November 29, it will supplement this service with the addition of three weekly Los Angles-Brisbane flights on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

It will become the largest carrier operating between the U.S. and Brisbane.

Additional Flights to Sydney and Brisbane

this will as the inauguration of new services listed above, United will also increase its flights from San Francisco to Brisbane and Sydney.

Starting October 28, United will offer daily flights between San Francisco and Brisbane on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

The airline will also fly twice daily between San Francisco and Sydney on Boeing 777-300ERs starting October 28, offering more flights to Sydney from the U.S. than any other carrier.

Greater seat capacity to Melbourne

Augmenting its current services to Melbourne, Victoria, the airline will deploy its largest aircraft on the existing San Francisco to Melbourne route.

Commencing October 28, United will operate its Boeing 300ER aircraft on the Australian route; effectively increasing its seat capacity by 100 seats per flight.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read
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