HOUSTON, April 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Air 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."
For more information contact:
Lauren O'Gorman, Communications & Social Media Manager, The Americas, +1-310-648-7039
Charli Sharp, MWW, +1-213-405-3780
About Star Alliance:
Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognized by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award and Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air India, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Avianca, Brussels Airlines, Copa Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, Ethiopian Airlines, EVA Air, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI and United. The integration of Avianca Brasil is currently in progress. Overall, the Star Alliance network currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1,321 airports in 193 countries.
SOURCE Air New Zealand