American Airlines, Qantas to fly NZ to LA direct


American Airlines has just announced it'll be flying direct from Auckland to Los Angeles from June next year, pending regulatory approval.

The daily flights will be on the airline's newest addition to the fleet, the Boeing 787-800 Dreamliner.

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker says it's the first U.S. Carrier to offer a truly premium experience between LA and Auckland.

Mr Parker says Auckland is an important economic city and a gateway to New Zealand they've admired for a long time.

He says it's been made possible by its joint venture with Qantas. The two airlines have been code-share partners for 25 years.

The flights to LA will connect with 215 daily flights to 50 destinations in the Unites States, along with five in Mexico, two in Canada, London and Sao Paolo.

Alan Joyce, Qantas Ceo, says the market to the United States has grown 10 percent in the last year and is expected to continue to grow.

"Think Dunedin to Disneyland".

The Dreamliner will carry 226 passengers in two classes.

Air New Zealand currently has a monopoly on flights between Auckland and mainland United States.

Minister of Transport Simon Bridges says competition is good for consumers.

Mr Parker says it is too early to say what the launch fares will be, but Air New Zealand has already slashed its one-way fares from Auckland to Los Angeles to $499.

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