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Air New Zealand to end UK flights with the closure of London 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.

Air New Zealand to close Heathrow to Los Angeles route

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.

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.

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

Comments (123)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • 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:

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

  • 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…

  • 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.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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