Air New Zealand to end UK services with closure of Heathrow to Los Angeles route

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Air New Zealand is to end flights from the UK.

The airline announced last night that it is closing its route between London Heathrow and Los Angeles, which carried on to Auckland.  The route has operated since 1982.  The LA to Auckland flight will continue.

In some ways, closure was inevitable.  The ‘Middle Eastern 3’ have taken a big chunk of the market between Europe and New Zealand in recent years.  ANZ’s route from Heathrow via Hong Kong to Auckland was closed in 2013.

In its press release yesterday, ANZ said that its market share between London and Auckland had fallen below 7%.  Unfortunately, the airline never managed to build up serious market share on the Heathrow to Los Angeles route which would have offset the low number of people choosing to carry on to Auckland.

Air New Zealand to close Heathrow to Los Angeles route

On a personal level, I will be sorry to see Air New Zealand go.  It has been a strong supporter of Head for Points, and was one of the first airlines to work with us at a time when we were substantially smaller than we are now.

Back in 2015 we ran a competition to give away seats to Los Angeles, and as part of that I was given a private tour of the aircraft at Heathrow.  We also gave away a Hobbit-themed model aircraft at one point!  We kept in touch and it donated a prize for our Christmas Party raffle last year.  As late as February, Rhys reviewed their Premium Economy service between London and LA.  As late as last month, I was in their offices in Hammersmith looking at ways we could work together to promote them in 2020.

Unfortunately, all 130 UK based cabin crew and 25 of the staff in the Hammersmith office will now lose their jobs.  Some staff will be retained in London to handle sales and marketing to European companies with activities in New Zealand – apparently 2/3rd of the revenue generated by the London team was not related to flights out of the UK anyway!

Air New Zealand to close Heathrow to Los Angeles route

It’s not entirely the end of Air New Zealand ….

The airline is launching a New York to Auckland service in October 2020, once the London to LA flight has ended.

It will also be setting up codeshare and partner arrangements with other airlines for flights from London.  There will be 12 different routings available, some of which will connect to Air New Zealand for the final leg, via Asia and the Americas.

You can find out more information about the London closure and the new New York service in this press release.

The final flight between Heathrow and Los Angeles will be in October 2020.

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Comments

  1. OT I currently have 250 points in my Gold Circle account and the wife 100 points. I’ve noticed on the Shard website to you can redeem 500 points for a $50 voucher for the bar / restaurant.

    Is there a way of redeeming a lower number of points?
    Can I combine the points into one account?
    Can I buy additional points to reach the 500 required for a $50 voucher?

  2. Shoestring says:

    https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/breaking-british-teenager-15-on-20659501
    the 15YO who fell off a balcony & died

    unfortunately we know this boy third party, sympathies etc

    you *must* tell your 15-23YO kids to not get drunk and mess around on balconies abroad

    they go abroad, get drunk, act stupid messing around jumping from balcony to balcony (that’s what I did, anyway) and think they have a charmed life

    • Yes completely agree.
      So sad.

      • Unfortunately children and teenagers often seem to believe they’re invincible. You wouldn’t believe how much of my job is talking to teenagers about crossing major roads in London safely (when they don’t).
        I’m sorry Harry.

  3. Pauline Craise says:

    Please sign and share with everyone you know this petition against Air NZ’s shocking announcement to scrap this essential AKL to LHR route and obtain as many signatures as you can to get this devastating decision reversed:

    https://our.actionstation.org.nz/petitions/keep-the-air-new-zealand-akl-lax-lhr-iconic-nz1-and-nz2-flights

    We need to get this petition viral so PLEASE SHARE and encourage everyone you know to sign.

  4. Richard says:

    I took NZ1 when I did my first long haul jaunt to Aus/NZ back in Dec 1991, when it operated out of Gatwick. I have fond memories of the entire trip, and flew on both ANZ and QF whilst away, but ANZ in my opinion were the clear winner in terms of service. It was simply better. They cost slightly more than say BA, Cathay and certainly Garuda (!) to get to that side of the globe, but definitely worth it.

    Today of course is different. Emirates or Singapore are favoured (for me) to get over there. They operate out of MAN which helps. Sad to see the London service go, but things change I guess…

  5. Scott W says:

    Myself and my better half emigrated to the UK from NZ flying NZ2 in business (which with my status then enabled us to fly in the old first cabin, as its 747s were being refurbished and NZ had scrapped first class in favour of the VS style herringbone lie flat business, which it still has in an updated version). So this is sad. It was always superb service, and the sad occasion my father passed away suddenly in NZ, we flew back at short notice in PE, and was upgraded no questions asked to business the whole way LHR-LAX-AKL, given access to the then *A first lounge, and couldn’t do enough for us. Although NZ’s BP product is now looking a bit dated (no more than Club World), it has the best PE, with 41-42″ seat pitch and Business class level catering. It will be sadly missed.

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