Travelers in Houston can catch the “Kiwi” spirit on a daily basis later this year, when Air New Zealand begins daily service between George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and Auckland in December 2016.
The latest in the growing number of foreign flag carriers at Bush Intercontinental, Air New Zealand Chief Sales and Commercial Officer Cam Wallace said the Houston service is already proving so popular the airline is stepping up frequency to daily services from Dec. 5 through Feb. 5, 2017, and then five times per week for the rest of the year.
“Sales are strong with Kiwi and Australian customers loving the fact they can now access the U.S. Midwest and South as well as key destinations such as Chicago and New York via Houston,” Wallace said. “We’re also seeing good growth in the number of American travelers using this service to visit New Zealand and Australia.
“We look forward to offering even more options for customers through increased frequency on this route.”
The airline launched the route in December 2015 and has been operating five weekly return services using Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The growing partnership makes Bush Intercontinental the only airport in North America — and one of only five in the world — with connections to all six inhabited continental regions.
“We are very excited that the Houston market has embraced Air New Zealand and supported the nonstop service to Auckland which started just a few months ago,” said Molly Waits, the Houston Airport System Director of Air Service Development. “We appreciate Air New Zealand’s commitment to the Houston market and welcome the additional flights during their peak travel season.”
Earlier this month, United Airlines and Air New Zealand announced a joint venture revenue-sharing agreement, deepening the partnership between the two airlines, which are both members of Star Alliance. Under the new revenue-sharing agreement, the carriers will more closely coordinate sales and marketing in order to offer their mutual customers more travel options between the mainland U.S. and New Zealand, as well as to other destinations throughout the airlines' route networks.
The arrangement will begin when United launches its nonstop service between San Francisco and Auckland on July 1, 2016, subject to government approval.