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Air New Zealand axing London flights via LA, turns sights to New York

Air New Zealand is axing its London route via Los Angeles, the airline announced today.

It first flew the route in 1982, but said competition made the service unsustainable.

"Today Kiwis have more than twice the number of ways to fly to London than a decade ago and preferences have changed. Less than seven percent of all airline travellers between Auckland and London chose to fly via Los Angeles last year," acting chief executive Jeff McDowall said in a statement.

The jobs of around 130 cabin crew, and 25 sales staff, in London are at risk.

The service will end in October 2020.

At the same time, a non-stop service to New York will start. 

"Visitor growth to New Zealand is strongest from North America and performance of our new service to Chicago is exceeding expectations. New York has been an aspiration for Air New Zealand for some time and withdrawal from the Atlantic will free up aircraft capacity to make this milestone a reality," says Mr McDowall.

The airline will fly to Newark Liberty International Airport three times a week. 

The tail end of an Air New Zealand plane. Source: Air New Zealand