Air New Zealand becomes the launch customer airline for the new Boeing 787-9 aircraft following an agreement signed with Boeing to substitute its firm order for four 787-8 aircraft and purchase the latest in the series at an airframe list price of US $183 million each (as at 2006).
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Fyfe said the first of the new aircraft will enter service in December 2010.
"Being the first airline to introduce the 787-9 aircraft will enable Air New Zealand to provide a superior, first to market experience for our customers and is a most desirable position for us to be in given the unprecedented sales success of the Boeing 787 model."
"The range and seat capacity of the 787-9 is even greater than that of the 787-8 model and this will provide Air New Zealand with new capabilities for our long haul international operations," said Mr Fyfe.
Boeing Commercial Airplanes Sales Director, Asia Pacific region, Roland Ramirez, says the combination of the 777 and 787 families of aircraft will enable Air New Zealand to "change the game" for trans-Pacific air travel.
"By choosing Boeing for its wide-body fleet and being our launch customer for the 787-9 model, Air New Zealand will now reap the benefits of the 787 operating efficiencies and their passengers will see dramatic changes in their comfort as well. ANZ has certainly raised the bar - these aircraft will offer tremendous flexibility for the airline in terms of its international network," said Mr Ramirez.
Air New Zealand's decision also means that the new generation Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 becomes the launch engine for all versions of the 787.
Rolls-Royce President - Civil Aerospace, Mike Terrett said: "In selecting the latest generation of the Trent family of engines, Air New Zealand will benefit from greater reliability and superior economics across its route network. The airline has continually led the field with its decisions regarding the 787 and Trent 1000 programme and we're delighted to be contributing to their future expansion."
Branded the "Dreamliner" by Boeing, the structure of the 787 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 787 model will use up to 20 percent less fuel and carry up to 50% more cargo than other jet aircraft of comparative size.
The 787-9 will have a range capability of some 13,000 km with 280 seat capacity compared to the 787-8's range of 11,900 km and 230-250 seats.
As per its international fleet strategy, Air New Zealand will have all its eight upgraded B747-400 aircraft in service by August 2006, all its new B777-200ER aircraft in service by early 2007 and will introduce the 787-9 aircraft during 2010 / 2011.
The airline retains the option for delivery of four additional 787 aircraft and has purchase rights for a further 30 B777s and ten 787s.
Air New Zealand first announced its decision to purchase B777 and 787 aircraft in June 2004. At this time it was also the first airline in the world to announce an engine selection to power the 787 - the revolutionary Rolls Royce Trent 1000.
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.