The announcement comes as the airline prepares for the delivery of the first of eight new B777-200ER aircraft this Friday (NZ time).

Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe says Air New Zealand had been guaranteed firm delivery slots for the two additional aircraft.

"This is a most desirable position for us to be in given the unprecedented sales success of the Boeing 787 model and enables us to plan for the airline's long-term needs.

"Being one of the first airlines to introduce the 787 will enable us to provide a superior, first to market experience for our customers and enable Air New Zealand to consider new routes beyond its current network."

Branded the "Dreamliner" by Boeing, the structure of the B787 aircraft makes significant use of lightweight high-tech composite materials to deliver operating efficiencies and customer comfort, including higher humidity levels and a more comfortable, lower cabin altitude.

The range of the B787-8 is 8,000 - 8,500 nautical miles with a 230-250 seating capacity. While Boeing has yet to confirm actual configuration details, it is expected that the B787-9 model will offer the same range capability with 20-50 more seats.

As part of its international long-haul fleet strategy, Air New Zealand plans to have all its eight B777-200ER aircraft in service by early 2007 and introduce the B787 aircraft during 2010 / 2011.


ENDS

Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs: ph +64 9 336 2761

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.