On April 15th, Air New Zealand announced its first new U.S. destination in eleven years – and Houston (Bush Intercontinental) was the chosen city. Houston is only the fourth U.S. destination for the airline, along with Honolulu, Los Angeles and San Francisco. The route will be originate in Auckland (AKL) and be served by a completely retrofitted Boeing 777-200ER.
Onboard, guests can enjoy Air New Zealand’s award-winning “Sky Couch” in economy. Sky Couch is a row of three economy seats, which fold out into a 61×29-inch bed. The Business Premier class offers lie-flat beds, Kiwi-inspired cuisine, a selection of New Zealand wines, and over 1,800 hours of on-demand entertainment.
To those who do not live in Air New Zealand destination cities, the airline has made a name for itself on social media over the past few years, with a series of highly creative Hobbit-themed safety videos.
As a Star Alliance member, Air New Zealand will offer easy connections for United Airlines passengers from U.S. hubs such as Newark and Chicago O’Hare. At the announcement, Air New Zealand VP of the Americas Chris Meyer said:
“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.”
This Thursday (April 30th), Air New Zealand will celebrate its 75th anniversary. The 7,415 mile flight from IAH to AKL would almost crack the top-20 of the world’s longest flights. If you’re looking forward to flying this route, tickets are planned to go up for sale in May, with flights beginning this December, five days a week.