Air New Zealand announced last week that it will start service to Buenos Aires soon. This decision was certainly made easier by the steeply falling oil and airline fuel prices (once the hedging runs out) for most airlines.
There are very few South Pacific to South America flights – Qantas and LAN have been moving schedules back and forth for their flights connecting Sydney/Auckland and Santiago de Chile.
Air New Zealand plans to connect Asia with South America better than before and provide an alternative to the flights via Europe or North America. The flight is a hefty 6,421 miles.
The route is important because it allows you a one-way over the southern Pacific with Star Alliance. Lufthansa Miles & More charges 62,500 miles for the one-way in Business Class. However, the program does not allow touching a '3rd region'. Since all Star Alliance options so far would have routed via Los Angeles or Asia, this was a theoretical award only. This will change once Air New Zealand gets in the air.
Miles & More does have a fuel surcharge – it's not yet clear how high that will be for the flight, but Air New Zealand charges no fuel surcharges (Asia) or low fuel surcharges (US) for its flights.
Award availability to the US is abysmal in business class, but on routes to Asia it's actually not that bad. Let's hope lots of availability will open up once this flight is loaded into a GDS.
Picture courtesy of thedrum.com
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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents.
Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines.
You can reach Torsten at [email protected]
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