Air New Zealand is looking to add another US city to its Boeing 787-9 network with Chicago, Houston and Las Vegas sitting on the shortlist.
The non-stop flights from Auckland would come on top of current North American routes to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver.
According to a report in The New Zealand Herald, an announcement is tipped for early 2015 although flights might not begin until later in the year, when the Kiwi carrier has taken delivery of three more of the long-range Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, which are due in July, August and October 2015.
Chicago and Houston are both rated as they are hubs for Star Alliance partner United Airlines, and could offer Kiwi travellers the same wealth of onwards connections as the Dallas/Fort Worth hub of American Airlines does for Qantas.
However, Las Vegas clearly has pull for holiday-makers and conference attendees.
Ironically, United Airlines once intended for a direct Houston-Auckland flight as the inaugural route for its own Boeing 787s, but shelved those plans following after competitor Southwest Airlines was allowed to begin international flights from Houston.
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