Continental Airlines has announced that it plans to fly from its Houston hub to Auckland from November next year utilising its new Boeing 787-8s.
The airline, which is currently in the process of merging with United Airlines, plans to launch services which will vary between daily and five times weekly depending on the season from November 16 2011, subject to government approval. The route will be operated by Boeing 787-8s, which are due to start delivery from August 2011. Continental says its 787s will have 228 seats, including 36 new BusinessFirst seats.
“Continental is a valued Star Alliance member, and the commencement of daily services in late 2011 between Auckland and Houston opens up an exciting new US market opportunity to New Zealand, and beautifully complements the market development work being done in other parts of the US,” said Auckland Airport CEO Simon Moutter. “We are especially pleased that Continental has chosen Auckland as a world first dedicated route for the brand new 787 aircraft. Houston is a central American hub that offers access to a wide range of North American destinations that we think will prove extremely attractive to travellers.”
Continental will join Air New Zealand and Qantas as the only other airlines operating direct services between the US and New Zealand. Continental commenced codesharing on Air NZ services from Auckland to Los Angeles and San Francisco in April, while the Kiwi carrier also has a codeshare arrangement with United Airlines.