Back in April we learned that American Airlines service to Auckland would become seasonal. From the outset it was clear that Auckland was simply getting too much capacity from the US with new flights not only from LA on American but also San Francisco on United and Houston on Air New Zealand.
“Bayswater Marina Auckland New Zealand” by Bayswater marina, Creative Commons
The announcement at the time was that American would suspend service from August 5 through October 4, 2017. And beginning October 5 they’d switch from a Boeing 787-8 to a 787-9 for the route.
However what was once a suspension from August through October for 2017 now expands to a suspension from April through October for 2018. American Airlines tells me that the flight is slated to return October 30, 2018 operated by a Boeing 787-9.
American Airlines Boeing 787-9 Business Class
From March 23, 2018 onward Los Angeles – Auckland, and March 25, 2018 onward Auckland – Los Angeles — while still on the schedule — appears to have all inventory zeroed out (or on occasional flights, showing one business and/or one premium economy seat for sale yet those seats don’t seem to sell through). They’re in the process of removing the flight from the schedule.
Not only is US-Auckland capacity beyond what’s reasonable based on economics of the route (United and American seem to be doing exactly what they complain about Etihad, Emirates, and Qatar doing and argue is illegal) but American has not yet had its joint venture with Qantas approved by the Trump Administration (they had been informed the Obama administration would not approve it). They’ve argued the success of the route relies on anti-trust immunity to coordinate schedules and pricing with Qantas.