Air New Zealand drops Los Angeles to London route

Air New Zealand is dropping the Los Angeles to London route it has flown since 1982.

The airline announced it will end the daily flight from October 2020 and will launch a non-stop service from Auckland to New York around the same time.

"Air New Zealand is strongest when operating direct flights to and from our home base and this reset will put us in the best possible position to take advantage of increasing demand across the Pacific Rim," said acting chief executive Jeff McDowall.  

"Visitor growth to New Zealand is strongest from North America and performance of our new service to Chicago is exceeding expectations. New York has been an aspiration for Air New Zealand for some time and withdrawal from the Atlantic will free up aircraft capacity to make this milestone a reality."

The new flight will take place three times a week and land at Newark Liberty International Airport. It will use Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

The end of the Los Angeles to London route will see the closure of the London cabin crew base of around 130 people, and subject to consultation, the end of around 25 roles in the Hammersmith sales office and ground team.

"We will be working with our people and their union to help with the next steps in their career, including looking at opportunities in other areas of the airline," McDowall said.