Air New Zealand will fly its completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week opening up the state of Texas as well as popular nearby tourist states such as Louisiana and Florida.
The new route is set to become the fastest way for Kiwis to get to popular East Coast and Midwest destinations, such as New York and Chicago.
Today’s announcement means Air New Zealand will soon be offering direct services to five popular North American destinations – Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Hawaii and Houston.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the airline is hugely excited to be adding Houston to its list of international destinations, particularly as the move comes hard on the heels of the airline’s recent announcement that it will also begin flying to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in December.
“We are absolutely committed to expanding our Pacific Rim network. Houston offers our customers direct access into the heart of the American South and a world of new tourism experiences. Not only is Houston home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and Mission Control and one of the world’s largest livestock shows and rodeos, it’s a great jumping off point for the home of country music in Nashville, Tennessee; the jazz capital of New Orleans; and the resorts, theme parks and beaches of Florida. Houston is also a key gateway for Mexico and the rest of Central America and the Caribbean.
“The great American road trip features on many bucket lists. The addition of Houston to our network will mean our customers can fly direct to Texas and then set out to explore one of the most vibrant and fascinating parts of American culture and experience down home southern hospitality through the food, music and sights of Texas and the American South. It’s a great part of the USA for visitors to immerse themselves in and I know it’s going to have tremendous appeal for our customers.
“We also look forward to welcoming more visitors to New Zealand from the southern and Midwest states and major East Coast cities where the option to connect through Houston will effectively make New Zealand’s tourism proposition more accessible than ever before.”
Air New Zealand will code share from Houston to other key USA domestic destinations as well as Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean with Star Alliance partner United Airlines, which has a large Houston based hub. United will code share on the Air New Zealand flight from Houston to Auckland and points beyond.
Tickets are expected to go on sale next month, with flights commencing mid December.