DALLAS – This winter, American Airlines (AA) will operate a new international route from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW). The world’s largest airline will operate the first flight from DFW to Auckland Airport (AKL), New Zealand, tonight.
The service, which will run until March 2023, will be the only direct flight to New Zealand from the South and Southeast United States this winter. The seasonal service will fly daily on a Boeing 787-900, with flight times ranging from 14 to 15 hours.
American Airlines moves aircraft from seasonal summer routes across the North Atlantic to more popular winter routes, such as Auckland. DFW Airport hasn’t seen many inaugural flights since the pandemic ended two years ago.
With international travel restrictions recently lifted, there is pent-up demand for service to New Zealand, according to Jim Moses, the airline’s vice president of DFW hub operations, stating to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that, as of today, flights to the new destination were already fully booked.
Comments from Airport, Airline Officials
“As we head into the holiday season, and we introduce new service out of DFW to Auckland, from a ground services perspective, we have been hired up,” said Moses. “We’ve also not stopped hiring pilots and flight attendants throughout the entire year and throughout all of 2021. We’re staffed and ready but every time you do add service, more people are required to look after that trip.”
Mr. Moses added, “The sheer number of customers coming in connecting through [DFW] provides that economic boost to this region that we’re really excited to be part of.”
“The addition of non-stop service to Auckland caps off a year of significant international growth at DFW,” said DFW’s chief executive officer, Sean Donohue. “Our customers will benefit from not only a new destination they can get to from our airport but an additional opportunity to visit the Southern Hemisphere and a chance to enjoy New Zealand’s largest city and all it has to offer.”
“The reintroduction of this service to Auckland is the next big step in bringing the Asia Pacific travelers back to North America with a seamless travel experience,” said Thomas Rajan, AA’s vice president of global sales.
Mr. Rajan added, “These travelers have always been an important and loyal group, representing a significant percentage of the visitors who come to North America.”
Featured image: American Airlines N836AA Boeing 787-9. Photo: Luca Flores/Airways