United Airlines will be the first airline to fly the latest model Dreamliner to Auckland, starting services with a 787-10 in early December.
The new plane will fly between Auckland and San Francisco daily over summer and although slightly smaller at 318 seats than the Boeing 777-300 it replaces, it will give the airline an opportunity to showcase its four class product on a near new plane.
The 787-10 is the stretched version of the Dreamliner family, 6m longer than the earlier model 787-9.
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Air New Zealand, United's joint venture partner is buying eight ot the -10 planes and they will enter its fleet from 2022.
The United move is a vote of confidence in non-stop New Zealand-United States flying by the alliance partners ahead of an expected boost in capacity or possibly new routes across the Pacific by rival American Airlines.
Earlier this year it had regulatory approval its joint venture with Qantas extended.
American is expected to announce expanded flying soon, with more Auckland-Los Angeles services, a new route to Dallas and flying from Christchurch all possibilities.
The North American market will be further boosted by Air Canada flying four times a week between Auckland and Vancouver four times a week from December to the end of March.
That service alone will add 30,000 seats on the route and is estimated by Auckland Airport as injecting around $38 million into the New Zealand economy.
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In other aircraft moves this summer Singapore Airlines will replace its Boeing 777 on its Wellington-Melbourne route with an Airbus A350-900 and Cathay Pacific will bring the stretched version of that plane, the A350-1000 to the Auckland-Hong Kong route.
United's director of Australia and New Zealand sales, Julie Reid, said her airline was well established here after resuming operations more than three years ago.
The airline is flying year round, as it did when it first resumed flights here in 2016 before dropping to seasonal services in the following two years.
She said there was a huge potential for the US inbound market to expand. Total arrivals to August had grown by nearly 9 per cent to 368,000 for the past 12 months.
She said the belief that few Americans held passports didn't match reality. About 46 per cent of the population had passports and were looking to travel more frequently.
The fall of the kiwi dollar against the US dollar was a consideration for New Zealanders but many modified their trips by staying at slightly less expensive hotels or not shopping as much rather than not travelling.
''Air fares have come down you might be taking a lower class of hotels.''
United Airlines and United Express operate about close to 5000 flights a day to more than 350 airports across five continents. The airlines carry close to 150 million passengers.
• Air New Zealand is stepping up flying to Queensland next year. It will extend seasonal services to the Sunshine Coast by two months from mid-April to June to a total of six months and plans an additional 15 per cent year-on-year increase in Auckland-Gold Coast capacity, offering an additional 22,000 seats from March next year.