Air New Zealand said today that it would stop flights between Los Angeles and Sydney, Australia, at the end of April to free up aircraft for more profitable international services.
The service from Australia's most populous city to the U.S. was one of the Auckland, New Zealand-based company's least profitable long-distance flights, Air New Zealand Chief Executive Ralph Norris said.
Customers in Australia will still be able to book flights on United Airlines' services to Los Angeles through the airlines' code-sharing agreement, he said.
New Zealand's biggest carrier is trying to return to profit after the $710-million collapse of its Ansett Holdings Ltd. unit in Australia in September 2001.
As part of its plan, the airline has reduced less-profitable international services and has proposed running its flights between Australia and New Zealand in partnership with those of Australia's Qantas Airways.
United Airlines, whose parent, UAL Corp., last year filed for Bankruptcy Court protection, is a member of the Star Alliance of airlines with Air New Zealand. Last month it ended flights between New Zealand and Los Angeles. At the same time, Air New Zealand increased its flights from Auckland to Los Angeles to 17 a week from 14 a week.