"South Island tourism is now directly connected to New Zealand's two biggest inbound long-haul markets of the USA and the UK," said Gerard Gilmore, Air New Zealand's Vice President, The Americas, UK and Europe.

"Visiting the South Island is a must for most Americans during their time in New Zealand, with Canterbury and Otago two of the most popular regions visited. For the first time, Air New Zealand is now able to directly connect them into the wonders of all the regions in the south. The new service also offers visitors wishing to make the most of their trip to New Zealand the option of flying into Christchurch and out of Auckland, or vice versa," he added.

"With more people travelling to New Zealand comes demand for greater choice, convenience and availability, so direct services to and from Christchurch are definitely needed, and as New Zealand's flag carrying airline, we are very excited to be the first to offer it," said Mr Gilmore.

Standard economy airfares will match Air New Zealand's current fares from Los Angeles to Christchurch via Auckland starting at US$1,333 plus taxes.

Flights will depart Los Angeles at 8.45pm arriving into Christchurch 7.15am, two days later, with a flight time of 13.5 hours. The return flights will depart Christchurch at 8.30pm arriving into Los Angeles at 12.15pm the same day, with a flight time of 12 hours and 45 minutes.

The three new services are made possible by a reschedule of the 17 Los Angeles to Auckland return services a week to a double-daily service.

Utilising a 392 seat Boeing 747-400 will place more than 60,000 additional seats each way annually into and out of Christchurch.

Flight Schedule

Three times a week - Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday (from both Los Angeles and Christchurch)
Routes Depart Arrival Flight Time
NZ19 Los Angeles - Christchurch 8.45pm 7.15am (+2) 13h 30m
NZ18 Christchurch - Los Angeles 8.30pm 12.15pm 12h 45m


Air New Zealand offers more direct flights to the South Pacific than any other airline, including a total of 34 flights per week from Los Angeles to New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Australia, Fiji, Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Tonga and Samoa. San Francisco to Auckland commences June 30. United Mileage Plus members earn and redeem mileage on selected flights. The readers of Condé Nast Traveler and Travel & Leisure magazines consistently rate Air New Zealand among the world's best international airlines. Visit Air New Zealand online at www.airnewzealand.com/usa for web specials or call 1 800 369 6867.

For media information contact:

Lucy Powell, Communications Manager, Air New Zealand
1960 East Grand Avenue, Suite 900, El Segundo, CA 90245, USA
Tel: (310) 648-7104 Facsimile: (310) 648-7017
Victoria King Public Relations, Inc.
12381 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 203, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tel: (310) 207-5175 Facsimile: (310) 207-5525