Air New Zealand to begin direct flights to Houston

Air New Zealand to begin direct flights to Houston

Air New Zealand will begin direct Auckland-Houston flights in December, pushing a fifth pin into its map of North American destinations.

The Kiwi carrier already runs flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Hawaii, but will use Houston to open up the US south and east coast.

In addition to packing plenty of travel appeal in its own right, Houston is also a major hub for AirNZ's Star Alliance partner United Airlines, putting scores of other US destinations just one hop away.

(There's also a dash of irony here: United announced but later scrapped direct Houston-Auckland as the first route for its Boeing 787.)

Air New Zealand says the flights will run "up to five times a week" on a refitted Boeing 777-200 with the airline's latest business and premium economy seats.

"The addition of Houston to our network will mean our customers can fly direct to Texas," says Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon, " 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."

Tickets are expected to go on sale next month, with flights commencing mid December.

The Kiwi carrier's decision mirrors that of Qantas, which flies from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth with onwards connections through American Airlines.

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David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

11 comments

  • Martin  Slobodnik

    msport2012

    16 Apr, 2015 08:25 am

    Thats fantatsic news. Not sure why they will use a B777-200 and not the 300ER or B787-9? 

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  • otternz

    otternz

    16 Apr, 2015 09:02 am

    B787-9 doesn't have enough premium seats.  They apparently sell more premium seats in the US market, so prefer to use the 787-9 on the more leisure routes.

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  • Broderick Boyd

    brobro

    16 Apr, 2015 05:09 pm

    I think capacity has alot to do with it. If ANZ do well on this route (and I cant see why not) then Im sure they may utilise 77W's during busy periods.

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    16 Apr, 2015 07:21 pm

    Great news for all the NZers and especially those who don't live in Sydney and who also want to go to Houston, now there is the option of going via Auckland instead of the usual via Sydney and Dallas to get to Houston.

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  • CBR boy

    CBR boy

    16 Apr, 2015 11:15 pm

    How many NZers are there who don't live in Sydney? ;-)

    But really, your comment about wanting to go to Houston is what surprised me. How much demand is there to actually go to Houston as the destination? I would have thought NZ is flying there mainly because it's a UA hub and will provide good connections to many eastern US ports.

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  • Bizflyer

    Bizflyer

    17 Apr, 2015 02:49 am

    Houston is a great city really like it there and now i have this option it could become my new usa home with a need to relocate at the end of this year. There is a very good UA hub but they will have caerfully planned it to fly to a city with the right demand and if anyone from ANZ see this carry on from LAX to JFK.

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    17 Apr, 2015 07:00 pm

    From what I know, there are a good amount of NZers in Perth and other parts of Australia, and I mean Houston as a business destination and also providing yet another way to escape LAX.

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    17 Apr, 2015 07:03 pm

    And, also if you are going to JFK or anywhere on the Eastern seaboard, you have to put up less with sh*tty UA service. This alone I think can create a good demand to go to the eastern cities via Houston instead of the traditional LAX or SFO.

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  • John Rasmussen

    Johndraz

    17 Apr, 2015 02:52 pm

    Good news, although I would have preferred ORD. Some will remember TE flew AKL/DFW/LON for a while back in the 80's. Ultimately, unsuccessful because the demand between NZ and GB pretty well precluded the development of any significant Dallas/AKL end-to-end travel, which in turn severely impacted new tourism development potential from mid America and beyond. We can only hope that AirNZ will resist the temptation to extend the new Houston service to europe if passenger numbers don't immediatly meet targets.

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  • Arcanum

    Arcanum

    17 Apr, 2015 03:13 pm

    ORD is quite a bit further than IAH and would require backtracking to reach most of the southern US.

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  • Ryan Stephen

    RaptorNation158

    17 Apr, 2015 07:05 pm

    Great news for every AirNZ paying passenger as now they will have to put up less with sh*tty UA domestic service to their final destination.

    No member give thanks

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21 Mar, 2019 05:28 pm

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