Air New Zealand eyes Chicago, Houston, Las Vegas for Boeing 787-9

By David Flynn, November 28 2014

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.

Read: Air New Zealand maps out Boeing 787 Dreamliner plans

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.

Also read: Australian Business Traveller reviews Air New Zealand's Boeing 787-9 business class, premium economy and economy seats.

Follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

This is a great news. NZ is a good product and will make life easier with connections within North America.

31 Aug 2013

Total posts 61

This is not the first time they have promised a new North American destination, however hopefully the 787 helps them achieve this goal (cargo and premium demand is not required to the same extent).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jun 2013

Total posts 367

Great news,I have always enjoyed flying with them as they are a great Airline

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

I also overheard an ANZ flight attendant mention as I flew back to Sydney a couple of weeks ago that a South American route will soon be announced in the New Year utilising 772's.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1234

It would be good to get some competition in South America. They may have some problems using a 777-2 as they don't have the ETOPS (I think??). They could use a 787 assuming it gets NZ approval for ETOPS (unless it has already).

But the other issue for them, is the lack of large Star partner in South America post the LAN/TAM merger.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

Imagine that...One stop to London via LAS from AKL (VS pick you up).  How awesome would that be?!

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Oct 2014

Total posts 19

If my research is correct, the 787-9 could actually fly Auckland to New York non-stop, it's well within the 15,000km range.  Not sure how passenger loads and weight would impact that idea, though?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

28 Oct 2014

Total posts 19

UPDATED... https://www.airmilescalculator.com/distance/akl-to-jfk/ ... it's 14,231km, only 430km more than SYD to DFW!  BRING IT ON.

GM
GM

Air NZ Airpoints

12 Mar 2014

Total posts 36

Those of us who frequently travel to the eastern US (and especially to non-major airports there without non-stop service from LAX or SFO) have been banging on for years about how useful and popular such a service would be.

To give you an idea, the better half just came back from the eastern US, two domestic flights, four hours at the hole known as LAX and then 12 hours to AKL. Total 28 hours. With a two year old. Not fun. Transiting IAH/ORD/LAS would cut the total time way down and also increase the time on Air NZ, which actually provides some service. Much more pleasant.

My money is on IAH. ORD would be that bit further that makes the fuel planning, consumption etc. tougher, and as others have pointed out you can go anywhere in the US and Central/South America from IAH.

Even people on trips that can be done in one hop from LAX e.g. NYC, Boston etc. would be tempted by an IAH flight - anything to reduce the time spent at the tender mercies of US domestic service ;)

Air NZ, as that crowd from Portland like to say - just do it!

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1234

Post refurb I think TBIT at LAX is decent.

10 Sep 2012

Total posts 151

Yes, but arriving at TBIT one still has to deal with the DHS staff who act as though they have been personally appointed by God to protect the United States.

Many LAX, JFK, EWR and MIA agents seem to have this hangup.  In my experience it is significantly less prevalent at other points of entry.  GIve me a SFO or DFW arrival over LAX any day. 

Anyhoo, my money is also on IAH, being a UA hub and all, and ORD might be tricky range-wise with a full load against big winds.

GM
GM

Air NZ Airpoints

12 Mar 2014

Total posts 36

DHS staff are hardly brilliant overall, but FWIW the worst experience I've had was at ATL... being asked to read out a card clipped into my passport like I was a primary school student was beyond insulting.

However agree that DFW is great, It is as genuinely world-class as LAX is awful. Great layout, great amenities, great volunteer staff, everything just worked. DFW (and MSP) are right up there as top-quality airport experiences.

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1234

MSP is a nice airport. DFW is a well layed out airport, but terminals I find dingy. 

GM
GM

Air NZ Airpoints

12 Mar 2014

Total posts 36

hutch, it's less that LAX is a filthy disgrace with or without TBIT refurb (see below) and more that transiting LAX (and SFO/YVR) requires multiple US domestic flights for many eastern US destinations. This piles misery on misery in terms of awful US carrier service, and the extra flight also increases the risk of getting stuck by weather/mechanical etc. delays. Thus non-stop to IAH etc. is preferable from that perspective.

Another reason to avoid LAX is that even after the move to TBIT the rest of the airport is still awful. The outdoor environment is disgusting and unavoidable when making domestic transfers, and the domestic terminals are average at best. I have no idea how the airport management and airlines can invest so much and still deliver such a poor airport environment.

One last thing - after Air NZ moves to TBIT the lounge will be much nicer, but it becomes the Star Alliance lounge managed by Air NZ, not an Air NZ lounge. Small but critical difference, as it means a change in lounge access policy for kids. You now have to use your one free guest slot for a kid, so for a family of three or four with kids you can now no longer all access the lounge with just one Koru membership. Having to fork over for another Koru membership or day passes degrades the value of Koru for frequent LAX visitors. Yet another reason to avoid LAX if possible, as there is no longer the draw of all-in lounge access.

/mildrant

07 Oct 2012

Total posts 1234

I understand the benefits of IAD. That's why I have indicated that I think it's the best option for NZ... just like DFW for QF. 

Just don't think LAX is a 'hole' anymore.  

The non TBIT are still pretty horrible.

LAX has In n Out burger close by though.


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