Air New Zealand has committed to the purchase of eight Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircrafts. The aircrafts will be delivered between late 2022 through to 2027, complementing Air New Zealand’s existing fleet of 13 787-9 Dreamliners. The larger aircraft has the capacity for an additional 40 seats.
CEO Christopher Luxon said the new aircraft will enable Air NZ to “reinvent” its Business Premier cabin, Premium Economy cabin and Economy cabin.
The investment, valued at NZ$2.7 billion at list price, will see the Kiwi-carrier replace its ageing Boeing 777-200 with the more fuel efficient carbon-composite jet. The 787-10, fitted with General Electric engines, offers an approximately 25% improvement on fuel burn which Air New Zealand said will “drive substantial improvement in operating economics and emissions”.
The Star Alliance member carrier’s eight 777-200s will be phased out by 2025.
“We’ve ensured the 787-10 will meet our network needs, including the ability to fly missions similar to the current 777-200 fleet,” Luxon said.
Air New Zealand currently operates the 777-200 on routes including Auckland to Melbourne, Adelaide, Seoul, Vancouver and Hong Kong.
The 787-10 has the range, depending on configuration, to offer non-stop services from New Zealand to New York, Sao Paulo, Brazil and Toronto, Canada.
The order gives Air New Zealand the option to boost the number of -10s from eight up to 20, as well as the ability to switch to the smaller 787-9 to suit its future fleet needs.
In a business update today [Monday 27 May, 2019], Air New Zealand said competitors were finding the New Zealand market “difficult”. The company highlighted capacity reductions from Virgin Australia on the Auckland-Sydney, Christchurch-Sydney and Brisbane-Wellington route, highlighting Air NZ’s improved market-share on routes to Australia since the termination of the Trans-Tasman alliance.
Air New Zealand also highlighted Emirates’ reduction in services to Bali by around 15% less than six months after moving the service to daily, Hong Kong Airlines’ exit from the Hong Kong-Auckland route this month and China Airlines scuttling its Auckland-Sydney tag-on service and Christchurch-Melbourne/ Sydney routes.