Air New Zealand has just released its first fares on its new Auckland - Houston service, with introductory prices of $699 one-way.

The airline is due to start flying to Houston from December 15 this year , with five return services a week Tuesday through Friday and on Sundays using a newly refurbished Boeing 777-200 aircraft.

It is the airline's fifth North American route and is being promoted as the fastest way for to get to East Coast and Midwest destinations including New York and Chicago.

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Air NZ is also offering one-way fares to Austin for $899, New Orleans and Nashville for $989 and Memphis, Orlando and Miami for just $999.

The airline's Chief Sales and Commercial Officer Cam Wallace said the airline is excited to offer customers direct and convenient access to the heart of southern USA.

"As America's fourth-largest city Houston has a lot to offer travellers keen to shop, dine and explore local highlights such as Nasa's Johnson Space Center and Mission Control. It's also the perfect stepping off point for onward travel to popular destinations including Nashville, New Orleans and Miami," he said.

The Auckland-Houston flights will be the longest on Air NZ's network.

It will take about 13 hours 50 minutes to make the 11,990km flight and an extra 40 minutes to fly back to New Zealand into prevailing head winds, 30 minutes more than the airline's current longest flight from Auckland to Vancouver - about 11,340km.