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Air New Zealand celebrates 40 years of non-stop flights to Los Angeles

written by Newsdesk | April 2, 2024

Air New Zealand celebrates 40 years of non-stop flights to Los Angeles

Air New Zealand is commemorating four decades of direct service between Auckland and Los Angeles, solidifying its position as the longest-serving non-stop carrier on the route. On March 31, 1984, the Kiwi airline launched its first non-stop service from Auckland to Los Angeles using a Boeing 747, although it had been flying to the city since December 1965 with refueling stops in Nadi, Tahiti, or Honolulu.

Scott Carr, Air New Zealand’s General Manager Long Haul, said, “LA has long been a popular destination for Kiwis wanting to explore the city where movie magic is made. It also serves as an important gateway for the US and beyond, connecting millions of our customers to their destinations over the past 40 years.”

To celebrate the milestone, Air New Zealand is running a competition encouraging Kiwis to share their favourite flying experiences on the LA route for a chance to win Premium Economy flights for four to the city. The airline is also hosting festivities at LAX, including an event at the gate lounge and departure gate with prizes, a Kiwi-inspired photo booth, and giveaways for customers heading to New Zealand.

Over the years, the Auckland to LA service has seen its fair share of unique experiences, such as a Matchmaking Flight in 2009, the launch of Air New Zealand’s Lord of the Rings Boeing 747 livery with Viggo Mortensen in 2003, and even welcoming Queen Elizabeth II onboard in 1993, making it the first routine commercial flight used by a British monarch.

Since 1984, Air New Zealand has flown daily services to Los Angeles, with a brief pause during the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, the airline offers up to ten return services a week from Auckland to Los Angeles. Some interesting facts about the route include:

  • Air New Zealand has operated more than 40,000 flights between Auckland and LA since 1984
  • The airline has carried notable passengers, including Queen Elizabeth II in 1995 and a Sumatran Tiger on its way to Auckland Zoo in 2022
  • More than 12 million passengers have flown on the route with Air New Zealand since 1984

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