Air New Zealand's inaugural flight between Auckland and Houston, Texas has touched down this morning.
NZ28 left Auckland International Airport at 6:30pm last night and arrived in Houston at 7.45am NZT.
Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce and US Ambassador to New Zealand Mark Gilbert were among the passengers onboard welcomed to Houston with a performance on the tarmac by a kapa haka group made up of Air New Zealand staff.
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said the launch of the airline's new Houston service was a great way to end 2015.
"This week we mark 50 years of flying to the US - it's a huge milestone and fantastic that as we celebrate this we also celebrate the operational launch of our latest US service which directly connects New Zealand to the heart of America's south.
"We are committed to continuing to expand our Pacific Rim network and are excited to give our customers direct access to Houston and beyond."
Today's arrival into Houston rounds out a busy month for the airline which has also operated its first scheduled South American service to Buenos Aires and celebrated the launch of its alliance with Air China with an inaugural Auckland - Beijing service.