Qantas will have new competition on flights the southern parts of the USA, as Air New Zealand announces new direct services to Houston.


The Flying Kangaroo has been the only airline to serve Texas from our region since 2011 when it launched direct flights from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

Travellers seeking flights the southern areas would either choose Qantas’ direct flights or fly with another airline via Los Angeles or Hawaii.

Air New Zealand tail

Air New Zealand announces new direct flights to Houston.

However, Air New Zealand’s new service gives Australian flyers a third option – flights to the fast growing part of the USA via Auckland.

Commencing in December this year, the airline will utilise its Boeing 777-200 aircraft on the Auckland to Houston route five times a week.

The service will codeshare with United Airlines, which has a major hub out of Houston.

deep south

Creative Holidays says booking from Aus to the south of the USA are growing.

Air New Zealand will also codeshare on United Airlines flights from Houston to other key US destinations in Central America and the Caribbean.

The airline’s Chief Executive, Christopher Luxon said the new route would be the fastest way for Kiwis to the popular US destination.

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

Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand Chief Executive

Conventions & Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) CEO Sue Sullivan applauded the new route, said direct services opens the south, mid-west and east coast to New Zealand and beyond.

“North America is becoming an increasingly important source of high-quality business event buyers for New Zealand. CINZ is certainly seeing a lot of interest from the North American market, both for our unique conferencing opportunities, and also for New Zealand’s premium incentive offerings.”

Sue Sullivan, CINZ CEO

Last week, Creative Holidays said the ‘deep south’ of America is becoming continuously amongst travellers from Down Under.

From the cowboys in Dallas to the hot parties and beaches in Miami, Mr Gaskell says new demand shows Aussies have a real taste for the south.

“Australians flocked to the USA while the dollar was at or above parity and have become keenly aware of the incredible breadth of destinations and experiences.”

James Gaskell, Creative Holiday Managing Director

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Meanwhile, this is the second time in six months Air New Zealand has introduced new competition to a popular Qantas destination.

In December, the airline revealed it would launch its first-ever scheduled service to Argentina – creating competition for Qantas’ Australia to Chile flights.

Commencing later this year, the airline will operate three weekly return flights on its Boeing 777-200 aircraft between Auckland and Buenos Aires.

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Do you think more competition is needed on flights to the USA?