Air New Zealand retains its 49 per cent interest in the other arm of the joint venture, the Pratt & Whitney JT8D and Rolls Royce Dart MRO facility at the Christchurch Engine Centre.

At an official function in Christchurch to mark the opening of the Centre’s V2500 Engine Shop and Test Cell, Air New Zealand Managing Director & CEO, Ralph Norris said the airline welcomed the opportunity to consolidate its commercial relationship with Pratt & Whitney.

“Air New Zealand’s partnership with Pratt & Whitney has been a robust one. The joint venture was established in April 2001 and two years ago in December 2002, we announced the expansion of the Christchurch Engine Centre with the development of a V2500 maintenance facility.

“This is indeed an excellent facility and the operation, which is expected to generate cumulative earnings before tax in excess of US$50 million for the joint venture over the next ten years, will be a significant contributor to business within the Christchurch region", said Mr Norris.

The V2500 project was initiated by the JV following Air New Zealand’s selection of the International Aero Engine (IAE) V2500 to power its new Airbus A320 aircraft - nine of the 15 on order have been delivered to date. The facility and its capability of overhauling V2500 products will be marketed to other airline operators, in particular those within the Asia Pacific region.

Air New Zealand established the joint venture with Pratt & Whitney in April 2001 and it is governed by a separate Board with representatives from both companies.

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines.

NOTE: The content of all Air New Zealand media releases are accurate at the time of issue, as stated at the top of each release. For updates on any changes, please contact Air New Zealand.

Air New Zealand is proud to be a member of Star Alliance. The Star Alliance network was established in 1997 as the first truly global airline alliance to offer worldwide reach, recognition and seamless service to the international traveller. Its acceptance by the market has been recognised by numerous awards, including the Air Transport World Market Leadership Award, Best Airline Alliance by both Business Traveller Magazine and Skytrax. The member airlines are: Adria Airways, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Shanghai Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Aegean Airlines, Air India, Brussels Airlines and TAM have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 19,500 daily flights to 1,071 airports in 171 countries.

For more information about Air New Zealand visit www.airnewzealand.com and for more information about Star Alliance visit www.staralliance.com.