Aviation

Texas and NZ together at last

Hannah Edensor

Texas and New Zealand are worlds apart, but with a new air service, they’re about to get a whole lot closer.

Air New Zealand has announced it will kick off flights to Houston, Texas from December this year, providing greater connectivity for Aussies to America’s great south.

Air NZ will fly its refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Houston up to five times a week, opening up the state of Texas, as well as nearby tourist hotspots such as Louisiana and Florida.

The announcement means the airline will soon be cranking its American services up a notch, with direct flights to the five North American destinations of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Hawaii and Houston.

Air NZ’s chief executive officer Christopher Luxon says the airline is keen to add Houston to its list of international destinations, with the news hot on the heels of the Buenos Aires announcement.

”We are absolutely committed to expanding our Pacific Rim network,” Luxon said. “Houston offers our customers direct access into the heart of the American south and a world of new tourism experiences.”

“Not only is Houston home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center and Mission Control and one of the world’s largest livestock shows and rodeos, it’s a great jumping off point for the home of country music in Nashville Tennessee; the jazz capital of New Orleans; and the resorts, theme parks and beaches of Florida. Houston is also a key gateway for Mexico and the rest of the Central America and the Caribbean.”

“The great American road trip features on many bucket lists. The addition of Houston to our network will mean our customers can fly direct to Texas 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.

“It’s a great part of the USA for visitors to immerse themselves in and I know it¹s going to have tremendous appeal for our customers.”

Air New Zealand will codeshare from Houston to other US domestic destinations, including Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean with Star Alliance buddy United Airlines, who boast a big presence in Houston.

United will code share on the Air New Zealand flight from Houston to Auckland and points beyond, with tickets expected to jump on the market next month, and flights taking off as early as mid December.

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