On November 10 American Airlines announced some big news which got me very excited because in my opinion, this is a game changer for the airline. If you have been following me for a while, you know that I am a loyal American Airlines flyer and one of the perks of being an American Airlines Executive Platinum is the 8 system wide upgrades I get every time I re-qualify for the status, in which I am extremely selective on how I use them and what route I use them on. Being that I just arrived from two months of travel around The Middle East and Europe, I was excited to be in Los Angeles to celebrate the new launch at LAX with the rest of AA employees, Qantas employees and cabin crews, as we all share the mutual excitement of the new route from Los Angeles International Airport to Auckland, New Zealand.
I arrived to the airport well ahead of schedule to clear security and allow me to walk around the hub, take photos of the aircrafts taking off and landing and seeing what it takes to set up before a press conference which it was held at Gate 41. A gate in which I am extremely familiar with since most of my London Heathrow flights depart from this gate.
AMERICAN AIRLINES PRESS CONFERENCE
I was invited by American Airlines as a Media/Press to attend the event. Throughout the event I was able to meet and exchange a few words with the AA executives such as President Scott Kirby and J.C Liscano who is the enigmatic Managing Director of American Airlines at LAX, a key veteran team member with over two decades of experience in the industry.
AMERICAN AIRLINES PRESS RELEASE
FORT WORTH, Texas – American Airlines will add new nonstop service between its trans-Pacific gateway hub at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Auckland Airport (AKL) in June 2016, pending regulatory approvals. The route to Auckland provides American’s customers direct access to a new destination and further strengthens the airline’s joint business with Qantas Airways. American has added six new trans-Pacific routes over the last three years, nearly doubling its presence in the region.
“Auckland is a thriving destination for business and leisure travelers, and it adds to the growing strength of our global network across the Pacific,” said Doug Parker, American’s chairman and CEO. “We’ve seen a strong increase for demand from U.S. customers who need more nonstop access to New Zealand. We are excited to be the first U.S. carrier to offer a truly premium experience between Los Angeles and Auckland.”
Qantas Group Chief Executive Officer, Alan Joyce, said the new Los Angeles-Auckland service is another example of the customer benefits of the expanded Qantas American Airlines joint business. “American Airlines is one of our most important partners, and our joint business allows both airlines to provide an enhanced network and better service for customers across the Pacific.
“American’s new non-stop Los Angeles-Auckland service is supported by Jetstar’s domestic connections to eleven destinations within New Zealand and Qantas Group’s nearly 40 daily flights to Australia. The new route across the Pacific is great news for travelers, the local New Zealand tourism industry and the corporate market,” said Mr. Joyce.
The two CEOs met earlier in the day with New Zealand Prime Minster John Key to present details of American’s new service that is planned to operate on the following daily schedule starting in June 2016 (all times local):
- Departs LAX at 10:45 p.m.
- Arrives at AKL at 6:35 a.m., two days later
- Departs AKL at 1:20 p.m.
- Arrives at LAX at 6:30 a.m., same day
American plans to operate its new daily service between LAX and AKL with the newest addition to its fleet, the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The Dreamliner features a state-of-the-art onboard travel experience including international Wi-Fi, as well as higher humidity and pressurization closer to sea level conditions, leaving customers more refreshed after their flight. Every seat has a touchscreen monitors equipped with up to 260 movies, 240 TV shows, 13 radio channels, 350 albums and 20 games, along with universal AC power outlets and a USB connection. The aircraft is configured with 28 fully lie-flat Business Class seats, each with direct-aisle access. There are an additional 55 Main Cabin Extra seats with extra legroom, and 143 Main Cabin seats.
787 Dreamliner – Business Class.
787 Dreamliner – Economy Class
The flight will be operated as part of American’s joint business with Qantas, which remains subject to regulatory approvals. Earlier this year, the two airlines announced increased options between the U.S. and Sydney Airport (SYD) with American launching a new nonstop flight from LAX, and Qantas adding a new flight from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), both beginning in December.
Through their enhanced relationship, American and Qantas intend to provide increased connectivity to markets beyond their key gateways. As the leading airline with the most daily flights in Los Angeles, American’s extensive network from its LAX hub can connect customers traveling from New Zealand to more than 50 destinations. These destinations include convenient connections to the world’s top financial centers, including New York and London, in addition to other top markets throughout the U.S., Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America. American has a rich history as Southern California’s premier carrier, including 80 years serving Los Angeles. American has nearly 200 daily departures at LAX, the only three-class transcontinental service and unrivalled customer service on the ground and in the air.
PRESIDENT OF AMERICAN AIRLINES SCOTT KIRBY
Prior to the press conference I had the great pleasure to meet President of American Airlines, previously he served as the president of US Airways, where he oversaw the airlines operations, including flight operations, safety and regulatory compliance, maintenance, inflight services, airport customer service and reservations.
I exchanged a few words with Mr.Kirby and I asked him some simple questions, at the time I was on the unknown on the full details of the route and he gladly shared with me the details. I asked him if this would be a seasonal route or a daily flight and he answered that this will be a daily flight, which in my opinion – thats fantastic. I also asked him if we would see the 777-300ER on this sector and he mentioned that if there is demand for it, that they will consider bringing that aircraft though for now the 787 Dreamliner will do. While I do love the 787, I believe bringing the 777-300ER will truly be a one of a experience specially for this long haul flight as it features the famous Flagship First Suite, the Business Class Cabin, the Main Cabin Extra and Economy Class, making it even more competitive with the rest of the carriers. What are your thoughts? Do you prefer the 787 or the 777-300ER?
He thanked me for my loyalty and for being an American Airlines Executive Platinum and off he went to begin the conference. He was great to chat with and he was class act.
American Airlines continues to impress me with their latest routes and the innovation that they are constantly making. This is definitely an exciting moment as I will be able to finally redeem some of my Airlines miles on a non stop flight from Los Angeles to New Zealand making the AAdvantage Program even better, though we will see what is the future of the program when 2016 rolls around and how award availability is looking like. With 200 daily flights, 55 destinations and 5,100 employees they are focused to make an impact within the industry and take it by a storm. As a high elite flyer for American Airlines they offer one of a kind service such as the Flagship Check-in, Five Star service, Luxury Cadillac Transfer service and the renovation of the lounges happening to make the experience one of a kind for the VIP Guest. Be sure to follow American Airlines on Twitter to stay connected on whats new to come.
if you would like to read a few reviews of my experience with American Airlines on their newest fleet, visit below
- American Airlines – Dallas To Hong Kong (Business Class – 777-300ER)
- American Airlines – Los Angeles To London Heathrow (Business Class 777-300ER)
- American Airlines – London Heathrow To Los Angeles (Business Class 777-300ER)
- American Airlines – New York To Los Angeles (First Class – A321T)
- American Airlines – New York To Los Angeles (Business Class – A321T)
If all goes as planned, the route will begin June 2016, so I will be keeping my eyes peeled for whats to come and then the inaugural flight will be and without further a due, Congratulations AA!!!