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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