Air New Zealand pilots have commenced training to fly the airline's new Boeing 777s that will start arriving from September.
A group of four senior pilots is based at Boeing in Seattle undertaking the B777 type rating course.
Air New Zealand General Manager International Airline, Ed Sims, said the four pilots have considerable experience as Captains within the airline's B767 fleet.
"The pilots' level of experience, coupled with the shared features within Boeing aircraft, will enable them to undertake fast tracked training both on the ground and in the full flight simulator," he said.
A total of sixteen pilots will undertake the B777 type rating course in Seattle which is run by Alteon, Boeing's wholly owned subsidiary training company.
"The first group includes our B777 Fleet Manager, Training Manager and two Flight Instructors as well as a pilot representative from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (NZCAA) which is very closely involved in the whole acceptance process," said Mr Sims.
"The pilots who undertake training in Seattle will then be qualified to train
Air New Zealand pilots in Auckland in the airline's new B777 simulator which will be operational by June.
"Our pilots in-training will also have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the new aircraft during its first four weeks of trans-Tasman flying," he said.
Air New Zealand engineers and NZCAA representatives are also currently attending Alteon-provided engineering rating courses for B777 aircraft.
Part of the practical training in Seattle will include engine run training, simulator training and visits to Boeing's 777 build line to look at various aspects of the aircraft studied in the theory and practical courses.
As with pilots, upon completion of the Seattle-based training, Air New Zealand engineering instructors will then be able to deliver the rating courses within the Company, with four courses planned over the next year
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