Hawaiian Airlines announced on Sunday it would begin nonstop flights to Auckland next year, becoming the only U.S. carrier to fly to New Zealand. The company will fly two-aisle Boeing 767 jets between the Pacific islands three times per week beginning March 13.

Hawaiian said market research indicates that Hawaii is an underserved market for New Zealand, as tourism figures show there are currently 30 percent fewer visitor arrivals coming from New Zealand than in 1999 when more nonstop flights were offered between the two destinations. In addition, New Zealand residents made more than 1 million trips to the South Pacific and Asia in 2011.

The airline is in the middle of an aggressive international expansion, having added destinations such as Tokyo, Seoul and Brisbane in recent months to complement its routes between the Hawaiian Islands and the U.S. mainland.

Flight schedules and start-of-ticket sales for the new Auckland service have not yet been announced, but the route is expected to provide connecting opportunities from several of Hawaiian's mainland destinations, including its first-ever service to the U.S. East Coast.