Air New Zealand is adding extra seats and tweaking the schedule of its Auckland-Honolulu services to offer more connecting options at both ends of the route.
The increase in capacity will come through replacing the Boeing 767-300ER currently on the route with the 787-9 Dreamliner from May 2016 on the airline’s four times a week service.
Air NZ’s 767s feature 230 seats across business and economy, while the 787-9 is configured with 302 seats across three classes – 18 business, 21 premium economy and 263 economy – and has the airline’s newest cabin products.
“We’re looking forward to taking the 787-9 Dreamliner to Honolulu – not only will the aircraft allow us to deliver a significant capacity increase on the route but we’ll also be able to improve the experience our customers have on board with new inflight product, including our award-winning economy Skycouch and premium economy product which offers greater space and comfort,” Air NZ chief sales and commercial officer Cam Wallace said in a statement on Thursday.
The schedule changes will kick in from March 29 2016, with the outbound flight from Auckland shifting to an evening departure and morning arrival in Honolulu. Currently Air NZ’s flights to Honolulu leave in the morning.
The schedule change means the return service will depart Honolulu in the morning and arrive back in Auckland in the afternoon.
“These changes will better enable customers based in New Zealand’s regional centres and Australia to fly to Honolulu within the one day, rather than needing to overnight in Auckland as many currently do,” Wallace said.
“In turn, the revised arrival time in Honolulu allows customers to conveniently connect onto domestic services in Hawaii.”
While it is maintaining a four times a week schedule to Hawaii – apart from peak periods such as school holidays when a fifth flight is added – the airline is shifting its Sunday flights to Fridays.
Air NZ competes with Hawaiian Airlines’ three times a week offering on the Auckland-Honolulu route with Airbus A330-200s.