United Airlines Makes History In New Zealand

Daniel Fowkes
11 Dec 2023
· Airlines 
· Routes 
United Airlines celebrates launch of service towards the South island of new zealand for the first time with their Boeing 787-8

United Airlines has made history by being the first U.S.-based airline to offer service from North America towards the South Island of New Zealand.

Service Commences To Christchurch

UA731 is operated by a Boeing 787-8, and service originates in San Francisco before arriving in Christchurch, on the South Island of New Zealand.

United Airlines celebrated the historic moment by adorning a unique decal on the 787 and naming it the Kiwi Cruiser. A fern was present towards the front of the aircraft, representing the strong partnership between New Zealand and United Airlines.

Service will operate thrice weekly with a departure from Christchurch on Sundays, Tuesdays and Fridays at 1415. Meanwhile, service for the San Fransico departure will act as UA730 departing at 2330 on Fridays, Sundays, and Wednesdays.

United notes that the South Island charms with its natural beauty, and Christchurch now become an integral part of its network. Better yet, for the carrier to make history highlights its importance in offering more cities better connections towards critical global markets.

A Major South Pacific Expansion

66 flights by the end of the 2023 calendar year will be offered by United Airlines from the United States to the South Pacific region.

With expansion towards Australia in recent weeks, United overtook Qantas for offering the most connectivity between the two countries.

The company has prioritised expansion towards the South Pacific region lately. It believes this is a market with many opportunities to grow.

Executives at the airline say that they’ve experienced over 50% growth in the last year thanks to substantial expansion efforts.

The airline has achieved this expansion by launching new services, increasing the number of flights or upgauging the aircraft utilised.

To meet demand across the busy summer season in Australia, the airline upgraded a 787 to the 777-300ER on service through to Melbourne. Ultimately, this decision is just one of the many important ones made by management.

United Airlines has quickly become a popular choice for travel to North America from the South Pacific Region. This is not just thanks to the substantial amount of weekly flights offered but also the prospect of using ports on the West Coast or further accessing another key market seamlessly on one ticket.

Comments From Executives

The American travel market is buoyant, with Americans travelling widely again and we know they want to experience what the South Island offers,” he said. In addition, the service brings much needed air freight capacity for South Island producers and enables South Islanders direct access to the US and beyond.

Justin Watson, Christchurch Airport Chief Executive Justin Watson

With nearly 50% growth over the past year, it is the largest expansion to the region in US aviation history. It’s such a special destination that offers travellers an experience unlike anywhere else in the world,” he said, “and because of United’s partnership with Air New Zealand, customers can easily connect from Christchurch to 19 other destinations across New Zealand

Patrick Quayle, United’s senior vice president of global network planning and alliances

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