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Delta Expands International Service with Direct Flights to New Zealand

A new route between LAX and Auckland is part of the airline's plan to restore its network to pre-pandemic levels

by Fergus Cole

January 24, 2023

Queenstown, New Zealand / Photo: ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock

Delta Air Lines has announced it is launching a number of new services, including its first ever direct flights to New Zealand, as part of the carrier’s network restoration.

The Atlanta-based carrier is currently in the process of restoring its international network to pre-pandemic levels, and this latest announcement comes after a similar expansion announced last fall. In addition to the brand-new route between Los Angeles and Auckland, New Zealand, the airline is also adding a new service to Nice, France, and boosting the number of flights to Paris and Tel Aviv.

From October 28, Delta will begin operating a daily nonstop service between its hub at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and Auckland Airport (AKL). An Airbus A350-900 will be used to fly the route, which has a total capacity of 306 passengers. This includes 32 Delta One Suites, 48 Delta Premium Select seats, 36 Delta Comfort+ seats, and the remaining 190 in the Main Cabin.

This route marks the first time Delta has served New Zealand with a direct connection. Once the service begins, Delta will become only the second airline to operate the route. The national flag carrier of New Zealand, Air New Zealand, operates the 10,480km (5,569nm) route ten times per week. Air Tahiti Nui also offers a connection between the two destinations three times per week, although this service includes a layover in Tahiti’s Faa’a International Airport (PPT).

American Airlines also offered a daily LAX-AKL service prior to the pandemic, but the Dallas-based carrier has not yet indicated it will resume the service.

Joe Esposito, Senior Vice President of Network Planning at Delta Air Lines, said: “With more than 1,750 weekly flights to 85 destinations around the globe this summer, Delta is well positioned to deliver on its plans to fully restore its network in 2023. With brand-new flights this year to cities like Auckland, Geneva and London-Gatwick, we’re giving customers more options to enjoy the premium experience and elevated hospitality they have come to know and expect from us.”

Delta’s Expanding International Network

In addition to Auckland, Delta is also adding direct services from LAX to London Heathrow (LHR), Paris (CDG), and Tahiti (PPT) for the summer season.

Justin Erbacci, Chief Executive Officer at Los Angeles World Airports, said: “LAX continues to grow its global network of destinations that are connecting Angelenos to every corner of the globe, and Delta’s addition of nonstop service from Los Angeles to New Zealand is in lockstep with the airline’s commitment to expand and improve service to our region.

“Coupled with Delta’s international additions to Sydney and Tahiti, this is another exciting result of the ongoing and strong collaboration between LAX and Delta Air Lines as we connect more people across the Pacific and beyond.”

Atlanta to Nice, France and Tel Aviv

Elsewhere, Delta is adding a daily service between its central hub at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) and Nice Côte d’Azur Airport (NCE) from May 12, returning to the southern French city for the first time in more than ten years. It is also increasing the number of flights it operates between Atlanta and Tel Aviv (TLV) to once per day from April 16.

New York JFK to Europe

New York is also getting an increase in Delta services, with the carrier set to add a third daily route between New York JFK and Paris (CDG) from May 25, as well as new services from JFK to Geneva (GVA) and London Gatwick (LGW), and the resumption of services to Berlin (BER).