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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)

  • Marie says:

    O/T Flying to US soon on BA 241 in First. Flying UK Business domestic connection to LHR the night before. F cabin is now showing as full (expertflyer seat map also showing all seats allocated) and BA don’t appear to be offering any further F seats for sale. Assuming this presents potential for downgrade etc, what are our rights, or rather, what approach should we take if we encounter such an issue?

    PS We’ll want to fly in First, not accept a downgrade on the original flight.

    Thanks

    • Anna says:

      Marie, did you not reserve your seats when you made the booking? This is one of the perks of F.

      When do you fly? BA allocate your seats a few days before departure so you may well have seats but not be able to see them until check in. This regularly happens to us in J as I refuse to pay to reserve seats, but at check in we’ve always found that we’re in the right cabin!

      • Marie says:

        Hi Anna, I think you have the wrong end of the stick! Yes we have seats allocated since the day we booked. I’m concern surrounds getting bumped (for proper paying customers) as the cabin has been full for a few weeks now and experience shows that these are the occasions when such misery ‘can’ occur! Thanks

    • Shoestring says:

      if you don’t want to accept an involuntary downgrade, you can insist on getting your original ticket class, though this might mean waiting a few days

      as you are flying from EU country (ie EC261 applies), you can also insist on being offered equivalent fare alternatives on competitor airlines closer to/ same as your original date

      • Lady London says:

        You could insist on flying same day (or very close to, if your current flight is an evening flight) in same class. EU261 says you have the right to be rerouted under “comparable transport conditions” which apparently is widely interpreted by precedent to mean the same class.

        IF BA says there are no seats in First for, say, 3 or 4 days, then you could ask for a different set of flgihts to your destination that migiht involve a stopover in order to keep to same day travel in same day class.

        If BA then tried to say that’s it nothing in First for 3 or 4 days at that point I’d suggest to them that under EU261 they may like to reconsider transporting you on another flight(s) of their own on same day or acceptable close to that for you, or alternatively under EU261 as you are entitled to be rerouted promptly then tell them which other airline you want a ticket on instead (having checked availability – which can be cash availability as an airline is not restricted in these circumstances to only what is available on Avios . So give BA the choice between transporting yo in First on their own flihgts promptly, and you will accept a different routing to get there if need be (if you will accept such ), or tranporting you in First on someone else’s flights.

        Keep a record of the conversation – medium (eg phone or email or internet chat), date and time. If BA Agent is ‘woke’ you are likely to find yourself on another BA flight(s) to your destination quite promptly. Under no circumstances accept a refund as this lets them off the hook – they must provide another ticket even if the seats are on another airline.

    • Anna says:

      Your post reads as though you haven’t got allocated seats. If you have, and BA are not selling any more F tickets, I don’t see that there’s any cause for concern, especially if your chosen seats are still showing on your booking.

  • James says:

    Less competition = higher prices 🙁

  • Graene says:

    OT, deciding whether to get Amex Green (and possibly upgrade to plat next year) or PRG. What is the referral bonuses on each please? That is how much would I get to refer a friend once I had them.

    Thanks in advance.

  • Anna says:

    OT – Lloyds voucher. I had a letter from Lloyds last week saying I had triggered my (presumably final) voucher but no other details. As I redeemed my last voucher via BAEC with no issues, I naively assumed this would still be the case! However, like a recent poster, when I called BAEC just now to find out what the expiry date on the voucher is, the 3 people I spoke to couldn’t “see” my voucher. The last CSA put me on hold for 30 minutes while he “looked for” someone who knew what to do but I had to cut off the call to deal with something else at that point. The 03 number for avios played their dreadful music to me for 20 minutes before I hung up in despair. I will try again at 8.00 am but I am now not very optimistic about eventually redeeming this last voucher! Has anyone had any luck with the last voucher recently?

    • Liz says:

      We just received our letter today for our final upgrade voucher. Email was from avios.com and phone number to redeem is quoted as 0344 49 333 49. Not sure if this is the same number you were trying.

      • Anna says:

        Thanks Liz, yes same number. Someone posted the other day about being on hold for ages and I suggested he might have better luck with BAEC but it seems to have gone downhill since February when I last redeemed a Lloyds voucher! I have very little faith in Lloyds so wanted to be sure the voucher was available and ready to be used well in advance of redeeming it.

        • Liz says:

          So are we supposed to be able to see the voucher in our BAEC account like the 241 voucher. Not redeemed one of these for over a year.

          • Anna says:

            No, you can’t see it but BA/avios staff apparently can. They could back in February but don’t seem to be able to now though!

        • yorkieflyer says:

          I suspect the problem may be a clearing of the transaction history on your account. After ages of not being able to log into my Aer club Avios account I now can, but can only see the balance, no transactions. Slightly worried re what happens about a transaction in the last 36 months to maintain the avios! It may well be that the vouchers have disappeared too, we couldn’t see them since the last “upgrade” in any case

  • Gareth Jeanne says:

    Very sad news, flew Air NZ loads To-From LHR when I lived in LA, and was also my first Business experience, the service was always outstanding, as was the Wine.

    Also got some bargain one-up upgrades to Sky Couch as a solo traveller, which was a surprisingly awesome way to do an overnight flight to London.

  • Liam says:

    OT — Anyone know why a travel agent would take several days to issue an airline ticket?

    For a number of reasons I’ve had to buy a ticket through Egencia, our (Expedia-owned) company travel booking portal. Although this flight (LHR to LAX) is on November 3, the dashboard is saying that I won’t have the ticket issued until “Saturday, 26 October 2019 @ 23:00.” Is there any likely technical reason why this is the case, or if I ring up are they likely to be able to speed this up? I want to be able to choose a different (paid-for) seat, which Egencia won’t let me do. Flying that distance in Y is one thing; doing so in a middle seat with no extra leg room is another.

    (And if anyone is wondering why I don’t just ring up and see, I won’t be able to call them until tomorrow and I’m genuinely curious how this kind of thing works.)

    • Rob says:

      This is not unusual. I think it is to do with the ease or cost of making changes or cancelling if needed.

  • Munch says:

    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?

    • Benylin says:

      You can just go shard and pay with points. You can’t combine.

    • guesswho2000 says:

      IIRC you can transfer SQ Krisflyer miles to GC, but it’s not a good use of KF miles.

  • 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

    • Phil T says:

      Yes completely agree.
      So sad.

      • Cat says:

        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.

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