Select Page

UNITED AIRLINES: flights to Australia & New Zealand up 40%

UNITED AIRLINES: flights to Australia & New Zealand up 40%

This southern hemisphere summer, United will provide more flights than any other USA airline to Australia and New Zealand. More than Qantas, and more than Air New Zealand. This will allow Americans to escape their northern hemisphere winter, and enjoy the delights of southern hemisphere summer.

This will provide some substantial competition for Qantas, the only Australian airline servicing some of these routes to the USA. Air New Zealand, might also be threatened by some of these new routes and increased frequencies.

Lower Prices

This increase in seats to the USA from Australia and New Zealand should put some downward pressure on airfares. We are already seeing fares to the USA later this year reducing from the ridiculous rates charged in late 2022. You know, AU$25,000 for business class return between east coast Australia and the USA.

So what are the destinations down under that get new flights and more flights?

United’s Polaris Seating [United]

New Flights

These concentrate on Australia and New Zealand.

  • Brisbane to Los Angeles – from 1 December – 3 x week – Boeing 787 Dreamliner
  • Christchurch to San Francisco – from 1 December – 3 x week – Boeing 787 Dreamliner – unique service

Increased services or capacity

These routes are getting an increase in capacity with aircraft changes, or a boost to frequency.

  • Auckland to Los Angeles – from 28 October – additional 3 x week – Boeing 787 Dreamliner
  • Sydney to San Francisco – from 28 October – daily flights – Boeing 777-300ER
  • Brisbane to San Francisco – 28 October – daily flights – Boeing 787 Dreamliner
  • Melbourne to San Francisco – 28 October – twice daily – upgrade to 777-300ER
United Airlines 787, Sydney Airport 2018 [Schuetz/2PAXfly]


I’ve had a scoot around Google flight pricing for some of these services. It definitely seems to depend on what day you choose for these direct services. For example, Business airfares from Sydney to San Francisco range from AU$ 7,300 to AU$ 19,500 departing Australia in mid-November. The average hovers around AU$13,000 over the Christmas through to February period. For Economy the price ranges from AU$ 1,300 to AU$ 4,500 in early January, settling to AU$ 2,500 mark from mid-January.

If you are prepared to make a stop and are not tied to United, you can definitely save some money. But the flights will be longer. For example, the lowest Business fare I can see is via the Philippines is AU$ 4,728. Most of the rest sit around AU$ 7,000s. In Economy, taking a stop on the route is not much of an advantage with United direct fares hovering at about AU$ 1,300.

Looks like this summer in Australia is going to offer some of the cheapest airfares to the USA we have seen since before the Pandemic. Travelling in November is your best bet, and them from late January will still get you a great fare. Christmas and New Year – as you would expect are the most expensive times to travel.

United partners with Virgin Australia [Virgin Australia]

2PAXfly Takeout

Don’t regard some of these changes, new routes and increased frequency and/or capacity as permanent features. These look like seasonal flights to ferry Americans down to Australia and New Zealand to escape winter and enjoy our South Pacific summers.

United is taking advantage of its new domestic partnership with Virgin Australia. American Airlines partnering with Qantas is well placed to compete on these routes but doesn’t seem to be taking advantage of the association.

The third of the big three American airlines, Delta has no alliance with an Australian domestic carrier. That’s an opportunity for newcomer REX!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Previously . . .

Subscribe to the Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates about 2PAXfly.

Reviews, deals, offers, and most of all opinion will be in your inbox.

We won't spam you, and we won't share your details with others.

Newsletter Regularity

You have Successfully Subscribed!