New Destinations

It's a lot easier to get to Hobbit land: Air New Zealand launches nonstop Houston service

Air New Zealand launches Hobbit-worthy nonstop Houston service

Air New Zealand plane
Air New Zealand will begin nonstop service between Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Auckland in December. Airline Reporter

On Thursday, Air New Zealand named Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) as its fifth North American gateway with nonstop service starting in December.

The airline's refitted Boeing 777-200 aircraft will operate the route between Houston and Auckland up to five times each week. Tickets are expected to go on sale in May and flights will start in mid-December.

"The City of Houston continues to enhance its status as a global gateway city, with nonstop flight service to almost 200 airports in the US and around the globe," Mayor Annise Parker said in a press release. "The arrival of New Zealand's national air carrier to George Bush Intercontinental Airport is a tremendous step forward in expanding Houston’s level of connectivity even further."

As a Star Alliance partner with United Airlines, travelers can expect to receive frequent flyer miles on the MileagePlus program for flights on Air New Zealand.

The flight will feature three categories: economy Skycouch, premium economy, with leather seats and leg rests, and business premier, with lie-flat beds. Kiwi-inspired cuisine and a wide selection of New Zealand wines will also be showcased during the flight.

Most fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies know they were filmed in New Zealand.