Air New Zealand is poised to make a decision to fly to a new destination in the United States.

It is understood Las Vegas, Houston and Chicago are under active consideration and the airline could be flying to one of these cities within the next 12 months.

It is likely to use one of its new Boeing 787-900 Dreamliners on the new service. The airline has said the performance of the plane on transtasman and services to Shanghai has exceeded expectations.

The Dreamliner would be capable of making the journey to either of the three cities non-stop.


Air New Zealand flies to Vancouver, San Francisco and Los Angeles at present and is stepping up services next year to cope with increased demand.

The number of Kiwis flying to the United States has surged in the past two years, helped by the strong New Zealand dollar, and the valuable inbound American has recovered following the global financial crisis.

Interest in flying deeper into the United States has led Air New Zealand to assess a number of possible routes over the past year.

It trialled the Chicago route with a charter flight carrying the All Blacks and their fans for their one-off test against the United States earlier this month.

It has previously flown to Dallas-Fort Worth in Texas and Las Vegas is seen as a top leisure market.

The airline has previously ruled out hub airport Denver as a US destination.

Infographic: 75 years of Air NZ

In 1940 Air New Zealand started life as Tasman Empire Airways Ltd and launched with a nine-hour flight across the Tasman aboard a flying boat.

Today the airline launches a book to mark its 75th anniversary, which falls next year.

Read on...