It seems that Air New Zealand has made a decision on the replacement for the Boeing 777-200ER fleet – the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner.
The first delivery of the new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners is expected to commence in 2022, allowing withdrawal of the Boeing 777-200ER during 2025.
Interestingly, these aircraft will be delivered with GENx engines- as opposed to Rolls Royce Trent Trent Engines (the existing 787-9 fleet use Rolls Royce engines).
Currently, the airline operates 13 Boeing 787-9 aircraft in its long haul fleet, along with the Boeing 777-200ER and Boeing 777-300ER.
At list prices, the order is worth US$2.7 Billion. Of course – they’re not paying that much with Air New Zealand negotiating a significant discount on current list prices. As such the actual purchase price is not being disclosed.
As well as the firm order for eight Boeing 787-10 aircraft, options have been obtained for a further 20 aircraft – which have substitution rights for either the Boeing 787-9 or -10, depending on need, delivery and market demand.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Christopher Luxon said:
“The 787-10 is longer and even more fuel efficient. However, the game changer for us has been that by working closely with Boeing, we’ve ensured the 787-10 will meet our network needs, including the ability to fly missions similar to our current 777-200 fleet.
“This is a hugely important decision for our airline. With the 787-10 offering almost 15 percent more space for customers and cargo than the 787-9, this investment creates the platform for our future strategic direction and opens up new opportunities to grow,”
Christy Reese, Vice President of Boeing Commercial Sales and Marketing for Asia Pacific says,
“We are honoured to extend our deep partnership with Air New Zealand. This is a bold decision by the airline and will help carry forward the ambitions of Air New Zealand for many years to come.
“The 787-10 is the most efficient widebody in operation today with 25 percent better fuel costs per seat than the aircraft it replaces. In addition, the 787-10 has 95 percent commonality with Air New Zealand’s existing fleet of 787-9s and will provide the airline with added benefits in terms of capacity and overall operations.”
Filling a 777-200ER Shaped Gap
It seems that Air New Zealand has chosen the 787-10 to fill in for its 14-year-old or so Boeing 777-200ER aircraft – which is one of the design aims of this aircraft. Of course, getting a new plane is one part of the jigsaw – what will be interesting will be what products that are chosen for the cabin.
And with the way that Air New Zealand has innovated in the past (including the SkyCoach, it’s premium economy seating and so on), there could be something special ahead.
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