Lonely Planet Writer

How low can they go? The price of long haul flights between US and New Zealand drops

Increased airline competition between the US and New Zealand has seen prices tumble on this increasingly popular route, with deals on international, plus internal flights.

Auckland. Image by Mike Mackinven

Travel websites in the US recently reported fares as low as US$225 advertised on American Airlines flights to New Zealand. Almost half of that is tax $US109. American Airlines will fly between Los Angeles and Auckland using a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner from June this year.

 Los Angeles
Los Angeles Image by Ron Reiring / CC BY 2.0

To counter the competition announcement, Air New Zealand introduced lower fares between LA and Auckland. It is also taking advantage of its partnership with United Airlines by offering a regional cities deal that combines a flight from one of 50 US cities to an Air New Zealand US gateway (LA, San Francisco, Houston and Honolulu), plus a flight to one of 20 destinations within New Zealand, including a stopover in Auckland from US$1,198. Alternatively a simple round-trip from LA or San Francisco to Auckland is US$898. Until the end of April you can also book a domestic flight from Auckland with that fare for only US$50. If you’re thinking 2016 is the year to see New Zealand, the extra domestic flight make it easier to cover both islands in one trip. Carpe diem!

Auckland Airport estimates the additional American Airlines daily service will boost seat capacity between New Zealand and the United States by 16%, adding 165,000 seats per year. This will help Kiwis get their US fix as well as see more Americans travelling to New Zealand’s green islands. Travel between the two countries was up between ten and 14% last year on inbound and outbound travel.