The world’s largest airline is adding a new international destination out of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport this winter.
The service, running through March 2023 will be the only direct flight to New Zealand from the South and Southeast U.S. this winter.
The seasonal service will operate daily on a Boeing 787-900 aircraft, with flight times of 14 to 15 hours.
Auckland City from Waiheke Island
“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, American Airlines’ vice president of global sales. “These travelers have always been an important and loyal group, representing a significant percentage of the visitors who come to North America.” Jim Moses, the airline’s vice president of DFW hub operations, said the service will provide economic benefits to North Texas given flights to and from the destination are already heavily booked.
“The sheer number of customers coming in connecting through here provides that economic boost to this region that we’re really excited to be part of,” Moses said. Moses said adding a new service impacts job creation and hiring in a positive way. Since the airline industry has been hiring at peak levels coming out of the pandemic, flights to Auckland are fully staffed.
“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,” Moses said. “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.”
There is pent-up demand for service to New Zealand given its international travel restrictions were lifted only a few months ago, Moses said. He said flights to the new destination are already seeing high booking levels. Auckland, where it is summer during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter, is a popular holiday destination. New Zealand’s largest city is known for its volcanic hills, urban culture, festivals and sporting events, world-class food and wine and high-end shopping.
The beautiful Whanganui River, North Island
“It’s incredibly important for us to continue to deliver on our purpose of enriching Aotearoa New Zealand, industry and visitors by inviting exploration in the spirit of manaakitanga,” said Declan Malone, marketing manager for the New Zealand Tourism Board. “Manaakitanga is a Maori unique embrace and hospitality. As a people with a deep connection to culture—its people an indigenous culture—we, of course, offer an incredibly rich and immersive experience to all who visit our shores.”
American Airlines shifts aircraft from seasonal summer routes across the North Atlantic to other routes more popular in the winter, like Auckland. Coming out of the pandemic, DFW Airport hasn’t seen many inaugural flights in the past two years. American Airlines plans to add more services to include first-time destinations or restoration of international routes cut during the pandemic.
“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.” American Airlines, based in Fort Worth, has 17,000 team members and travels to more than 235 destinations out of DFW, its largest hub.