NZ28 departed Auckland International Airport at 6:30pm last night and arrived at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport at 7.45am New Zealand time.
Passengers onboard, including Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce and US Ambassador to New Zealand Mark Gilbert, were welcomed to Houston with a performance on the tarmac by a kapa haka group made up of Air New Zealand staff.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the operational launch of the airline’s new Houston service, its fifth to North America, is a great way to end 2015.
“This week we mark 50 years of flying to the US – it’s a huge milestone and fantastic that as we celebrate this we also celebrate the operational launch of our latest US service which directly connects New Zealand to the heart of America’s south.
“We are committed to continuing to expand our Pacific Rim network and are excited to give our customers direct access to Houston and beyond.”
Today’s arrival into Houston rounds out a busy month for the airline which has also operated its first scheduled South American service to Buenos Aires and celebrated the launch of its alliance with Air China with an inaugural Auckland – Beijing service – and last month announced a new seasonal service to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.