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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 (124)

  • hdagz says:

    130 UK based cabin crew for a once daily flight appears to be excessive. Can anyone explain why they need so many?

    • marcw says:

      It’s not really. Remember, holidays, minimum rest, regulations (cabin crew can fly max 900 h a year under EASA regulations), number of cabin crew per flight, etc.

      Rough calculations: 900/22 (22h, more or less, rtrn LHR-LAX-LHR) = about 40 rtrn trips a year. 40×130 cabin crew=5.200 rtrn trips a year. Now, let’s say 13 cabin crew per flight = 400 yearly rtrn operations. If we consider holiday leave, training, etc etc… quickly we get that that’s the amount of staff needed for a daily flight LHR-LAX.

  • krys_k says:

    A couple of years ago my company needed to get someone from LA to UK in business with little notice. Cheapest option by far via broker was on NZ. Traveller apparently liked the trip. That’s my only link to this service.

    My actual concern above all else is for all those that will be left without a job. For me that’s the real story here. Hopefully provision will be made by NZ to support them.

    • marcw says:

      I hope you have the same feelings towards the thousands of UK research staff that work on fix-term contracts. It’s not directly comparable (cabin crew had permanent contracts), but that’s the way how it works in research nowadays. It’s a big (massive) shame.

      • Nick_C says:

        Not just research staff. My OH is a University Lecturer teaching on a variety of courses from Foundation to MA. He’s been on short term contracts for over 10 years. Some of his contracts are for half a day. The longest he has managed was a year, and that was the least lucrative. Seems to be the way we are moving. Permanent jobs are not worth applying for because they are 0.5 or 0.6, but you need to work 5 days at least to get the job done.

  • Liam says:

    I actually booked a one-way LHR to LAX flight with NZ yesterday. It’ll be my first time flying with them. They seemed to be the only airline, other than Norwegian, offering reasonable rates for a one-way trip (and I can credit to United which should be enough to see me hit United Silver).

    • Lady London says:

      TAP apparently is OK for one ways.

      • Liam says:

        Yes, I did see that too, but wanted to fly direct.

      • Richard says:

        TAP is excellent. I took advantage of a £98 o/w MAD-LIS-BOS a couple of years ago. Had to fly to MAD first, but £29 on EZY from MAN (near my house) made it easier. Option to have a night in Madrid if I fancied it. Redeemed some Virgin miles for the BOS to LHR return and caught the train back up.

    • Charlieface says:

      IMV that’s one of the best uses of Avios or miles in economy. That and last minute tickets.

  • Alex Sm says:

    It’s the most shocking, devastating, hard-to-believe-in etc etc news I have read on HfP in a long while…

    So sad

  • Tubbs says:

    I have happy memories of flying with NZ. My first Biz flights were with them on the LHR-LAX route, great experiences in 1A with the old 1-1 layout on the 747.

  • Lee Thomas says:

    AIR NZ was my first ever paid business class flight long haul in 2008. For me the service, food and drink were superb and certainly up there with Qatar. Such a shame.

  • Stephan says:

    Did anyone get an avios incentive to switch to Barclays?

  • David says:

    OT but no bits… Have resisted opening a business account till now due to fees (part time sole trader), but I want to get the amex business gold and that is required proof. I see that revolut offer a free business current account – does anyone know if amex would accept that?

    I don’t want to open it for no reason if amex one a business account from a big bank.

    Thanks in advance…

    • Jonathan says:

      Revolut business account can only be topped up once by credit card up to £250. Everything else is by bank transfer. Pointless account to have IMO

    • Lady London says:

      Starling? Starling also has banking protection whereas Revolut apparently doesn’t yet.

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