Air NZ to announce future plans

(Photo: Dan Lake/ 3 News)
(Photo: Dan Lake/ 3 News)

Just a day after American Airlines announced it would begin daily flights between Auckland and Los Angeles, Air New Zealand is set to make a significant announcement about their future plans at a media conference in Auckland tomorrow morning.

The announcement will be made by the airline’s chief strategy, networks and alliance officer Stephen Jones, and has been titled “Where to next?.”

Late last week, Air NZ was reported to be at the end stages of evaluating two new long haul routes.

If a new destination is announced, it will be the fourth new destination for the airline this year.

Starting December 1, the first of three weekly flights to Buenos Aires will begin using a Boeing 777-200ER.

Then from mid-December five return services a week will begin between Auckland to Houston and an alliance with Air China also kicks off the same month with flights to Beijing.

Air NZ have previously run special event flights to Chicago and Las Vegas, but with the airline already flying to Los Angeles, San Francisco and soon Houston, these cities are less likely to feature in tomorrow’s announcement.

A major growth area for both the airline and tourism in New Zealand is of course China.

Air NZ currently flies to Shanghai as well as Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. It is possible Air NZ may look to increase their capacity to China because China Eastern, China Southern, Air China and China Airlines have all established regular flights out of Auckland.

Another growth area is South-East Asia, and which is a popular holiday destination for Kiwis.  Both Vietnam and Manila have been seen as possible destinations.

Sean Berenson, Flight Centre NZ general manager says a new Asian destination is highly possible. “Asia is a real growth area for New Zealand travel at the moment, South East Asia in particular has long been popular with Kiwis and there would certainly be the demand to expand on the offering in this space.”

Another possibility could be regular flights to India in an alliance with Air India – another Star Alliance partner.

3 News