Kiwi Carrier Cancels UK Connection

AIR NEW Zealand has announced it is to withdraw its only route to and from Europe, ending its daily service linking London/Heathrow with Los Angeles and Auckland from October 2020. The flag carrier says a change in “market dynamics” prompted the decision to drop the service, which first launched in 1982.

Jeff McDowall, the company's acting chief executive officer, said the number of ways to fly between London and Auckland has more than doubled in the last decade and that fewer than 7% of travellers chose to fly via Los Angeles last year. He explained: “Air New Zealand is strongest when operating direct flights to and from our home base in Auckland and this reset will put us in the best possible position to take advantage of increasing demand across the Pacific Rim.”

The withdrawal of services to London is expected to result in the demise of the airline’s cabin crew base of more than 130 people, as well as 25 roles in the sales office and ground team. Air New Zealand says it will be working with its staff and their union to help with the next steps in their careers, “including looking at opportunities in other areas of the airline.”

Following the decision to end its only European route, the Kiwi carrier plans to launch a new service between New York/Newark Liberty and Auckland from October 2020.

Flights will operate three times weekly all year round using the airline’s latest Boeing 787-9 aircraft.

The New York operation is subject to final regulatory approval and landing slot confirmation. (Photo AviationImageNetwork/BaoLao)