Air New Zealand has placed firm orders for another two Boeing 787-8 aircraft worth at airframe list price US$117 million each (as at July 2004), in addition to the two it already has on order.
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.
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs: ph +64 9 336 2761
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