Aviation News

United Airlines unveils largest ever expansion in Australia and New Zealand

United Airlines, which has a strong focus on Australia, has announced that it is expanding its services to the island country while also boosting services to New Zealand including flights to a new destination.


New route between Los Angeles and Brisbane:

  • After introducing nonstop flights between San Francisco and Brisbane in winter 2022, United is now launching nonstop flights between Los Angeles and Brisbane. As of 29th November 2023, United will offer 3-flights-a-week between Los Angeles and Brisbane using Boeing B787-9 Dreamliner aircraft. This will make United the largest airline between the United States and the city of Brisbane.

More flights to Sydney and Brisbane:

  • In addition to starting a new route between Los Angeles and Brisbane, the carrier is expanding its current route between San Francisco and Brisbane. The carrier will now fly daily on the route using B787-9s, flying nearly triple the number of passengers to Brisbane from the US next winter than it did in 2022. The airline will also fly twice daily between San Francisco and Sydney on Boeing B777-300ERs starting 28th October 2023, offering more flights to Sydney from the U.S. than any other carrier.

More seats to Melbourne:

  • In winter 2022, United became the largest airline from the U.S. to Melbourne, increasing from 10 to 14-weekly flights, with one daily flight from both San Francisco and Los Angeles. Now, from 28th October 2023, flights between San Francisco and Melbourne will be operated by B777-300ERs instead of the B787-9s, adding nearly 100 seats on every flight. Compared to winter 2019, United will offer 65% more seats to Melbourne.

Stay up to date: Sign up for my newsletter to never miss latest Aviation and Travel news.

New Zealand

New flight between San Francisco and Christchurch:

  • Starting 1st December 2023, United will be the only airline to offer direct flights between the U.S. and New Zealand’s South Island, with the first direct San Francisco-Christchurch service. United will fly this route 3-times-a-week on a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. United’s new flight to Christchurch is part of the airline’s broader expansion efforts in New Zealand and next winter, the airline will be nearly 70% larger in New Zealand than it was in 2019.

New flight between Los Angeles and Auckland:

  • United already flies 4-times-a-week between San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city. Now, the airline is introducing new 4-weekly flights between Los Angeles and Auckland on 28th October 2023. The flights will be operated by B787-9s. United is the only carrier to serve Auckland year-round and the introduction of these new flights will build on its position as the largest U.S. airline to Auckland.

This past winter, United enhanced our network and became the largest carrier to the South Pacific region. Now, this upcoming winter, we will expand even further. Our strong partnerships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia provide unparalleled connectivity, and with our historic expansion across five destinations in New Zealand and Australia, United is the clear choice for customers’ travel to the region.

said Patrick Quayle, Senior Vice President of Global Network Planning and Alliances, United.

United already flies to more destinations in Australiaand New Zealand than all other U.S. carriers combined, and now will have more flights and serve more destinations in the region from the U.S. than any other carrier in the world. With 66 flights between the US and Australia/New Zealand every week, United will operate nearly 40% more flights from the U.S. to Australia and New Zealand next northern winter versus last year.

Passengers will easily be able to connect from United destinations in Australia and New Zealand to 50 destinations in the region, as part of its relationships with Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia.

Too optimistic?

United is the largest international airline from the United States and taking (calculated) risks is nothing new from the airline. Flights to these South Pacific countries are considered as long-haul and usually cost a lot to operate. Sometimes, it becomes a challenge to even break even on these routes.

United will operate 66-flights-a-week to these countries this winter. I feel like the airline is being overly optimistic here. On the other hand, the airline will certainly have studied the market and the opportunities so it’s not like the airline will not do good on these routes. But it can also be the other way around. We will have to wait and see how this pans out.

Meanwhile, United recently resumed flights to Dubai as part of its new codeshare partnership with Emirates.

Featured image by United

What do you think of United’s expansion in Australia and New Zealand? Let me know in the comments section below.

Follow IH Aviation and Travel on Social Media on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

One reply on “United Airlines unveils largest ever expansion in Australia and New Zealand”

Leave a Reply