|Auckland, New Zealand // Photo by Freeimages.com/Nick Walton|
United Airlines recently launched new nonstop service between its premier Pacific gateway at San Francisco International Airport and Auckland, New Zealand.
United's inaugural service to Auckland also marks the official start of the airline's joint venture agreement with Air New Zealand. The carriers are deepening their existing Star Alliance relationship by offering customers more choice and convenience when booking travel between the United States and New Zealand and beyond.
"Our new joint venture with Air New Zealand allows both airlines to optimize our transpacific schedules and offer customers more choice and convenience when traveling between the U.S. and New Zealand," said Jim Compton, United's vice chairman and chief revenue officer, in a written release. "Our customers wanted new ways to access New Zealand and destinations beyond and our relationship with Air New Zealand allows customers to plan seamless travel throughout the South Pacific."
United will operate Boeing 787-8 aircraft on the San Francisco to Auckland inaugural route, which are built using lightweight composites, state-of-the-art engines and an improved aerodynamic design, allowing the planes to fly farther, faster and more efficiently than similar-sized conventional aircraft.
United Flight 917 will depart San Francisco at 10:45 p.m. three times weekly, arriving at Auckland International Airport at 6:55 a.m. two days later due to time zone differences (all times local). On the return, Flight 916 will depart Auckland at 1:20 p.m. daily, arriving at San Francisco International Airport at 6:40 a.m. the same day. Flying times will be roughly 13 hours westbound and 12 hours, 20 minutes eastbound.
United's joint venture partner Air New Zealand operates a daily service between San Francisco and Auckland, departing San Francisco at 9:45 p.m. and arriving in Auckland at 5:35 a.m. two days later due to time differences. The return flight departs Auckland at 7:45 p.m. and arrives in San Francisco at 12:45 p.m. the same day.