Air New Zealand has a number of plans in the offing to add comfort and improvements to their popular routes to Auckland. First up will be improved privileges for passengers arriving at LAX both from London and on the way to London, followed by extra flights during peak season. On top of that, upgraded aircraft are set to follow next year.
Improvements planned at LAX
Air New Zealand announced plans to move its passenger facilities at Los Angeles International Airport from Terminal 2 to the newly renovated $1.7 billion Tom Bradley International Terminal. In the new terminal, passengers will be able to access to over 180,000 sq. ft. of retail and dining space while waiting for their flights.
The airline will also take charge of the construction and operation of a new Star Alliance Lounge set to open at Tom Bradley.
Aircraft upgrades are to follow beginning in July 2014. Two new Boeing 777-300s will replace existing 747-400 planes. $100 million has been earmarked to upgrade all eight 777-200s, bringing the whole fleet up to the same standard.
Increased flights to Auckland
The popularity of flights to Auckland from LAX has prompted Air New Zealand to increase its flights to 16 per week between mid-December and late-January. This is the peak season for travelers from the Northern Hemisphere who want to exchange their winter cold for summer in New Zealand. Under the new schedule, the airline will offer 2 flights daily with 3 on Thursdays and Sundays.
During peak season flights between Auckland and Vancouver will double. By adding these flights, Air New Zealand’s trans-Pacific capacity will increase by 9.3 percent.
Smoother transit for London passengers
Passengers touching down at LAX from Auckland on a connecting flight to London and those arriving from London connecting to Auckland are now able to enjoy the freedom of accessing the terminal facilities – without completing the standard US arrival forms.
US Customs & Border Protection granted these privileges following successful trials, aiming to make transit a much more comfortable experience. Those on the grueling Auckland to London route via LAX will benefit from the chance to use all the facilities at the terminal, including the airline’s Alliance Lounge if they are eligible.