As part of its financial and operational reorganization, Air New Zealand is preparing to fully retire its fleet of seven Boeing 777-300ERs with an average age of 9 years by 2027. Air New Zealand will streamline all of its wide-body aircraft into the Boeing 787 Dreamliner family.
The announcement came in the context of the company’s presentation of financial results for 2021, the year in which it incurred losses of NZ$440 million. The pandemic continues to affect international flights in New Zealand and a slow recovery is expected, as the country continues to keep its borders closed and the travel bubble with Australia has been suspended due to the discovery of COVID-19 cases.
During 2020, Air New Zealand early retired eight 777-200ERs, representing a loss of NZ$338 million.
The Boeing 777-300ER entered service in 2011 to replace the Boeing 747-400 and was used on one of its most popular routes, Auckland – Los Angeles – London Heathrow, but during 2020, Air New Zealand has definitely canceled flights to the British capital.
Air New Zealand will replace its entire fleet of Boeing 777-300ERs with its current arrangement of 8 Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners. The first aircraft is scheduled to arrive in 2024 and will begin to retire Boeing 777-300ERs from 2025, initially with two models until 2027 when the process ends, ending 22 years of operations with the 777 family.
The initial Boeing 787-10 order was planned to retire Boeing 777-200ERs but the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to change its plans and streamline its long-range fleet with Dreamliners.
The routes that were operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft before the outbreak of the epidemic:
- Auckland – Los Angeles – London Heathrow
- Oakland – Los Angeles
- Auckland – San Francisco
- Auckland – Houston
Air New Zealand is working with Boeing to increase the MTOW of Boeing 787-10s so it can operate the Auckand-Los Angeles and Auckland-San Francisco routes without freight fines. The airline will streamline its fleet to four Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Airbus A320ceo/neo, ATR and Bombardier Q Series models.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner will operate its international destinations to North America and Asia and its main routes to Australia. Option-9 will be used for its longest routes such as Houston and Vancouver, as well as scattered routes in Asia on its network such as Seoul and Taipei. On the other hand, the Boeing 787-10 will be responsible for operating its main routes in Asia and North America such as Singapore, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Los Angeles and San Francisco. Thanks to the consolidated fleet, the airline will make significant savings in maintenance, crew training and flight operations.
A new generation of business class
With the arrival of the new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, the airline will usher in the new generation of business class business head, also expect an oath Business Plus Where the airline will offer a seat in business class is superior to the rest of the competitors. Air New Zealand was the first Dreamliner operator to configure business class seats in rows 1-1-1. The cabin of the Boeing 787-9 is also expected to be revamped after 2023.
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