Beginning today, traveling between the West Coast and the South Pacific just got easier as United Airlines launches new nonstop service between its premier Pacific gateway at San Francisco International Airport and Auckland, New Zealand.
United’s inaugural service to Auckland also marks the official start of the airline’s joint venture agreement with Air New Zealand. The carriers are deepening their existing Star Alliance relationship by offering customers even more choice and convenience when booking travel between the United States and New Zealand and beyond.
“Our new joint venture with Air New Zealand allows both airlines to optimize our trans-Pacific schedules and offer customers more choice and convenience when traveling between the U.S. and New Zealand,” said Jim Compton, United’s vice chairman and chief revenue officer. “Our customers wanted new ways to access New Zealand and destinations beyond and our relationship with Air New Zealand allows customers to plan seamless travel throughout the South Pacific.”
Powering United’s inaugural flight between San Francisco and New Zealand is an innovative energy-saving partnership with the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE). United will operate Boeing 787-8 aircraft on the San Francisco to Auckland inaugural route, which are built using lightweight composites, state-of-the-art engines and an improved aerodynamic design, allowing it to fly farther, faster and more efficiently than similar-sized conventional aircraft.
As part of the Aspire Initiative air traffic providers will also support optimal flight paths and recommend real-time, dynamic reroutes, further optimizing efficiency after departure throughout the entire flight. Additionally, ground crews at the departure and arrival locations will work to reduce aircraft idle time, providing expedited taxi to the runway and gate.
“We understand the importance of reducing our carbon footprint, even as we expand our global network. Working with ASPIRE is just one way we’re demonstrating our environmental leadership within the industry,” said Compton.
“We know that New Zealand is a popular destination for American travelers,” said Air New Zealand’s Chief Sales and Commercial Officer Cam Wallace. “By working more closely with such a strong carrier like United Airlines, we look forward to welcoming even more American visitors to enjoy our unique Kiwi tourism experience.”
United Flight 917 will depart San Francisco at 10:45 p.m. three times weekly, arriving at Auckland International Airport at 6:55 a.m. two days later due to time zone differences (all times local). On the return, Flight 916 will depart Auckland at 1:20 p.m. daily, arriving at San Francisco International Airport at 6:40 a.m. the same day. Flying times will be approximately 13 hours westbound and 12 hours, 20 minutes eastbound.
United’s joint venture partner Air New Zealand operates a daily service between San Francisco and Auckland, departing San Francisco at 9:45 p.m. and arriving in Auckland at 5:35 a.m. two days later due to time differences. The return flight departs Auckland at 7:45 p.m. and arrives in San Francisco at 12:45pm the same day.
United and United Express jointly operate more than 250 daily flights between San Francisco and 90 destinations throughout North, Central and South America and the Caribbean.
United’s service to Auckland is one of five new international destinations the airline is launching this year from San Francisco. The flight will be operated three times weekly until October 30, and will increase to daily service beginning Monday, November 1. Since March, the airline has added new nonstop service from the hub to Tel Aviv; Xi’an China; Singapore and will begin new service to Hangzhou, China on July 13.