Skip to content

Delta Air Lines unveils 1st-ever route to New Zealand, adds more service to Paris

Jan. 20, 2023
5 min read
delta plane
Delta Air Lines unveils 1st-ever route to New Zealand, adds more service to Paris
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Delta Air Lines will land down under later this year with its first-ever service to New Zealand.

The Atlanta-based carrier announced on Friday that it's adding a nonstop flight from its hub at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) to Auckland Airport (AKL) starting Oct. 28.

This new 6,504-mile nonstop flight will operate daily using an Airbus A350. The new route will be available to book starting on Saturday, Jan. 21, and there's no telling how many SkyMiles a business-class ticket will cost. (Odds are that it'll be quite high.)

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG's free biweekly Aviation newsletter.

Despite the high-profile new route, Delta won't fly its flagship Airbus A350 to New Zealand. Instead, it'll deploy one of the used A350s that it recently acquired second-hand from LATAM.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

These jets sport a unique 339-seat configuration — internally referred to as the "35L" — that's split between a business- and economy-class cabin. These planes do not feature a premium economy cabin.

In business class, travelers will find 30 lie-flat beds in a forward-facing 2-2-2 configuration. The economy cabin has a whopping 63 Comfort+ seats and 246 standard seats.

Stretch your legs: The world’s longest nonstop flights, updated

These planes are outfitted with Wi-Fi connectivity, as well as seat-back screens, power outlets and USB ports at each row, which should help pass the time on these roughly 13-hour jaunts.

Sign up for our daily newsletter
ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

In addition to adding a route-map pin in New Zealand, Delta will also boost existing service to Paris this summer.

The airline will add a third daily flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) on May 25. This additional frequency will operate daily through the summer, though the final service date of the extra flight hasn't been announced yet.

Delta will fly a 238-seat Boeing 767-400 on the additional Paris flight, which features 34 Delta One business-class pods, 20 Premium Select recliners, 28 extra-legroom Comfort+ seats and 156 standard main cabin seats.

The new flight will also be available for sale on Saturday, Jan. 21.

For Delta, adding more summertime service to Paris makes sense. The airline has a transatlantic joint venture partnership with the Air France-KLM Group (and Virgin Atlantic) and can funnel passengers through Air France's massive hub in Paris.

Louvre Museum in Paris. ROMAN SLAVIK/GETTY IMAGES

Though many Americans look to visit Paris in the summer, Delta can also tap into the demand from travelers looking to connect beyond Paris to hundreds of destinations throughout Europe and beyond.

It wasn't immediately clear if Delta's third daily flight will come at the expense of any Air France frequencies, or whether this will truly be a capacity upgrade for the joint venture partners.

That said, the big news is the addition of service to New Zealand, which will mark the first time that the airline has flown to the Kiwi country in its entire 97-year history.

The move comes as there's been a strong recovery in demand for flights to the Asia-Pacific region following the reopening of many countries to American tourists.

Delta will go head-to-head against New Zealand's flag carrier on the new L.A. route. Air New Zealand flies between L.A. and Auckland on a daily to twice-daily basis, Cirium schedules show.

Previously, American Airlines also served this market, but it moved its winter-seasonal New Zealand service to its mega-hub at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) back in October 2022.

In L.A., Air New Zealand can tap into its Star Alliance partner United Airlines' network for additional connectivity beyond Southern California, and the airline can also offer travelers headed down under many short connections to destinations beyond Auckland.

ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY

Meanwhile, Delta operates a hub in Los Angeles, so it can sell one-stop flights to and from many U.S. cities, though it can't really offer connecting tickets beyond Auckland. All this growth comes as Delta invests billions of dollars into its L.A. hub with the recent opening of a brand-new Sky Way and modernized terminal facilities there.

Between this latest announcement and some other recent updates, Delta's network planners have been quite busy. Last week, the airline announced a new long-haul route from Atlanta to Nice, France, on the French Riviera.

The airline also upgraded its soon-to-launch longest route to Tel Aviv to daily service. The new route from Atlanta to Tel Aviv — technically a resumption from August 2011 — will commence on March 26, 2023, with three-times-weekly service.

Delta will upgrade the route to daily service as of April 10, during the Jewish holiday of Passover, and six days earlier than initially announced last week.

For more about Delta's network, check out:

Delta's New Zealand flight schedule

Delta Flight 65: Los Angeles to Auckland, departs 10:30 p.m., arrives 7:35 a.m. (+2 days), all times local.

Delta Flight 64: Auckland to Los Angeles, departs 2 p.m., arrives 6:05 a.m., all times local.

Featured image by ZACH GRIFF/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees