HOUSTON, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Air New Zealand — set to celebrate its 75th anniversary this month — today named Houston as its fifth North American gateway when the national carrier of New Zealand announced it will begin nonstop service to George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) beginning in December 2015.
Air New Zealand's completely refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft will operate the route between Houston and Auckland, New Zealand up to five times per week. Tickets are expected to go on sale in May, with flights commencing mid-December.
"The City of Houston continues to enhance its status as a global gateway city, with nonstop flight service to almost 200 airports in the US and around the globe," said Houston Mayor Annise Parker. "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."
Air New Zealand's Star Alliance partner United Airlines will code share into Houston from numerous North American cities. Set to commemorate 50 years of flying from North America later this year, Air New Zealand also offers nonstop service from Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver and Honolulu.
Air New Zealand's arrival is the latest in a parade of new service options coming to IAH. Seven new international carriers either launched or announced Houston service at IAH since January 2014.
"Houston's dynamic economy and diverse population continue to attract new air service to the nation's fourth largest city," said Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz. "Air New Zealand recognizes the opportunity for long-term growth and success in Houston and we look forward to establishing a strong and mutually beneficial partnership."
Air New Zealand Vice President of the Americas Chris Myers said the airline looks forward to welcoming more visitors to New Zealand from southern and midwest 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," Myers said. "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."
The 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 help Air New Zealand make trips as comfortable and easy for our customers as possible. 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.
About Air New Zealand
Air New Zealand, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2015, also is set to commemorate 50 years of flying from North America later this year. The national airline and flag carrier of New Zealand, Air New Zealand is based in Auckland, New Zealand, and operates scheduled passenger flights to 25 domestic and 26 international destinations in 15 countries across Asia, Europe, North America and Oceania. The airline has been a member of the Star Alliance since 1999.
About the Houston Airport System
The Houston Airport System (HAS) served more than 53 million passengers in 2014. Houston's three airports: George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH), William P. Hobby (HOU) and Ellington Airport (EFD) contribute more than $27.5 billion to the regional economy. With nonstop flights to more than 170 destinations worldwide, IAH is the tenth-busiest airport in the nation and is the largest hub for United Airlines. For more information, visit fly2houston.com.
SOURCE Houston Airport System