Air New Zealand's new all black A320 aircraft is nearing completion and in a few weeks will make the journey to New Zealand to join the airline's domestic jet fleet.
The aircraft with its newly painted all black livery, recently flew from Airbus' manufacturing facility in Toulouse, France, to Hamburg, Germany where cabin interior fit-out is now nearing completion.
The aircraft is the first of Air New Zealand's new domestic Airbus A320 jet fleet and is the only aircraft in the airline's fleet to be painted with an exclusive black livery.
Click here to see time-lapse video of the aircraft being built and painted.
"The all black livery, with silver fern motif and Koru on its tail, is to celebrate Air New Zealand's long running sponsorship of the New Zealand Rugby Union and the All Blacks," says Air New Zealand's General Manager New Zealand Scott Carr.
Air New Zealand has 14 of the 171 seat aircraft on order, which will be progressively introduced into the airline's fleet from early February.
"The first four will be delivered this year and the remaining ten progressively through until 2016, coinciding with the expiry of our current B737-300 aircraft leases," says Mr Carr.
The larger aircraft will enable Air New Zealand to increase capacity on routes that are beginning to face capacity constraints at some airports during peak times.
The current 737 fleet is configured with 133 seats, with the larger domestic A320 aircraft increasing domestic jet capacity by almost 30%.
"The aircraft will be completed in approximately three weeks before making its three day journey home via stops in Gander (Canada), Denver, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Samoa and then into Auckland in early February," says Mr Carr.
The interior for the new A320 fleet will mirror the recently revealed colour-scheme and materials being fitted into the airline's new fleet of Boeing 777-300 aircraft, and includes LED mood lighting throughout the cabin.
Mr Carr says the new fleet of A320s, together with the new fleet of B777-300s, will ensure Air New Zealand continues to have one of the youngest fleets in the world, and a world-beating product across the entire jet fleet.
Issued by Air New Zealand Public Affairs ph +64 21 747 320
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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, Aegean Airlines, Air Canada, Air China, Air New Zealand, ANA, Asiana Airlines, Austrian, Blue1, bmi, Brussels Airlines, Continental Airlines, Croatia Airlines, EGYPTAIR, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Scandinavian Airlines, Singapore Airlines, South African Airways, Spanair, SWISS, TAM Airlines, TAP Portugal, Turkish Airlines, THAI, United and US Airways. Air India and Ethiopian Airlines have been announced as future members. Overall, the Star Alliance network offers 21,000 daily flights to 1,160 airports in 181 countries.