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But anyone leaving Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) could be forgiven for thinking they are a lot closer.
An American Airlines billboard outside the airport advertising the airline’s new non-stop flights from LA to Christchurch, which start in October, features the words 'Christchurch, New Zealand' in bold. But the mismatched photo in the background is of Milford Sound.
An American Airlines spokesman said the backdrop was chosen because Milford Sound is accessible from Christchurch, which he called the “gateway to the South Island".
The airline will be the only operator to directly connect the United States with the South Island when it starts the non-stop flights later this year.
ChristchurchNZ general manager of marketing brand and communications, Tim Loftus, said it was thrilled the city features so prominently in the heart of one of the United States’ main centres.
He said ChristchurchNZ is not disappointed to see Milford Sound used as the backdrop on the billboard.
“Milford Sound is one of the crown jewels of the South Island," he said.
"What an epic spot to show off ahead of the LA-Christchurch link launching in October."