Published On: Thu, Apr 16th, 2015

Air New Zealand to open fifth North American gateway this December

Air_New_Zealand_747-400_takeoffAir New Zealand has today announced it will expand its North American presence by opening a fifth gateway this December. The airline will soon provide nonstop service between Houston, Texas, and Auckland, New Zealand, up to five times per week. Tickets are expected to go on sale next month, with flights commencing mid-December.

Air New Zealand’s completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft will operate the route, providing more comfort and connectivity to New Zealand for North American customers. Air New Zealand’s Star Alliance partner United Airlines, which has a large Houston-based hub, will code share into Houston from numerous North American cities. A global gateway city, Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) provides nonstop service to almost 200 airports around the globe (113 domestic U.S. destinations).

The refitted Boeing 777-200 includes Air New Zealand’s award-winning Economy Skycouch™, comfortable ink-colored luxury leather seats with leg rests in Premium Economy, as well as lie-flat beds in Business Premier. In addition to delicious Kiwi-inspired cuisine and a great selection of New Zealand wines, customers can also enjoy over 1800 hours of on-demand inflight entertainment available via personal touch screens.

Air New Zealand, celebrating its 75th anniversary on April 30, is also set to commemorate 50 years of flying from North America later this year. The airline began service from Los Angeles to Auckland (via Nadi & Honolulu) on December 14, 1965. With the addition of Houston, Air New Zealand will offer direct service to New Zealand from five North American gateways, also including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Honolulu.

Air New Zealand Vice President of the Americas Chris Myers says the airline looks forward to welcoming more visitors to New Zealand from southern and mid-west states and major east coast cities.

“We are thrilled to open service to Houston and share our Kiwi spirit and award-winning service with The Lone Star State and beyond. This expands our reach into a thriving part of the country and also acts as a great feed to the East Coast, meaning a gateway to New Zealand is now less than three hours away from numerous U.S. cities. We’re also excited about the prospect of bringing New Zealanders to Texas and other southern and eastern states via Houston.”

“We have been flying from North America to New Zealand for almost 50 years and our focus has always been to make the journey as comfortable and easy for our customers as possible.”

Houston Mayor Annise Parker welcomed the announcement. “The City of Houston continues to enhance its status as a global gateway city, with nonstop flight service to almost 200 airports located all around the globe. The arrival of New Zealand’s national air carrier to George Bush Intercontinental Airport is a tremendous step forward in expanding Houston’s level of connectivity even further.”