Air New Zealand and Continental Airlines have begun a comprehensive codeshare agreement that covers many of their domestic and international services.

Under the agreement, Air New Zealand's code will appear on over 540 flights per week to and from Continental's hubs serving Houston, New York and Cleveland. These will connect to Air New Zealand services to and from Los Angeles and San Francisco to Auckland.

Continental's code will appear on Air New Zealand trans-Pacific services, including the services via Rarotonga, Apia and Tonga. The agreement also extends to all Auckland trans-Tasman and domestic New Zealand services, and flights between Auckland and Hong Kong.

Air New Zealand says that this agreement complements existing arrangements with fellow Star Alliance members United Airlines and US Airways, adding that it gives it access to parts of the USA not previously available with its existing partners.

"There were 198,000 visitors from the USA to New Zealand in the 12 months to February 2010, with just 10,000 from Texas and 11,000 from New York State, so this new arrangement provides plenty of growth potential," says Air New Zealand group general manager Ed Sims.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news