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Houston has been growing in the past few years, and we’ve seen an increase in the number of international destinations that have been offered by various airlines. So if you’re thinking about traveling, keep these destinations in mind.
Yesterday, Air New Zealand, the “official airline of middle earth,” announced non-stop flights from Auckland, New Zealand to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport beginning in December of 2015. Per Air New Zealand’s website, “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 is NZ’s 5th North American destination. The flight will be operated by a refurbished 777-200 featuring Business Premier, Premium Economy, Economy SkyCouch, and Economy. The projected flight time will be 14 hours 30 minutes (IAH-AKL) and 13 hours 50 minutes (AKL-IAH). Flights will be 5x a week and 3x during non-peak season.
In December of 2014, Eva Air announced nonstop service between Taipei, Taiwan, and Houston, beginning in June 2014. This will be a 4x weekly flight and the only direct flight from Taiwan to Texas. It will be operated by a new 777-300 Hello Kitty themed airplane, featuring Hello Kitty amenities ranging from pillows to toilet paper and blankets. Flight time is blocked at 14hr25min eastbound and 15hr40min westbound. This is Houston’s second destination in Asia, aside from Tokyo.
Just days after Eva Air began selling tickets, ANA announced direct flights between Tokyo-Narita and Houston. This complements United’s daily IAH-NRT flight. Beginning in June 2014, ANA will be flying a 777-300ER, adding another daily flight to Tokyo. This will be ANA’s 10th North American destination.
All three of these airlines are part of Star Alliance, along with United Airlines, the largest airline at IAH. Houston is United’s busiest hub, providing seamless connections to over 170 destinations. United itself has been expanding at IAH, with daily nonstop flights to various Central and South American destinations, such as Santiago, Chile, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Houston is considered United’s “gateway to Latin America.”
It’s obvious to everyone that the demand for airlines to be in Houston is skyrocketing. In the past few years, over 7 international airlines have began to connect Houston to the rest of the world, including Air China, Interjet, Scandinavian Airlines, and many more. Who knows what the future of aviation might be in Houston –we might even have a spaceport soon (plans and renderings actually have been created)!