Air New Zealand to begin direct flights to Houston

By David Flynn, April 16 2015
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 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.

Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

14 Apr 2013

Total posts 334

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

04 Mar 2015

Total posts 17

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.

02 Jan 2013

Total posts 142

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

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.

12 Feb 2015

Total posts 89

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.

Lufthansa - Miles & More

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 185

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

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.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

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.


17 Apr 2015

Total posts 1

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.

21 Jul 2012

Total posts 127

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

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

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.

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