Air New Zealand today signed agreements to acquire eight new Boeing 777-200 ER and two Boeing 7E7 aircraft as well as rights to purchase a further 42 long-haul aircraft.
Air New Zealand’s Managing Director and Chief Executive, Ralph Norris, said the aircraft will provide the airline with new capabilities for its long haul operations.
Four of the new 300-plus seat Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft will be purchased and the other four leased from International Lease Finance Corporation.
The eight Boeing 777-200 ER aircraft will begin entering service in September 2005, with the first five expected to be delivered by April 2006. The final three aircraft will be introduced in the last half of 2006. Air New Zealand’s 7E7s will be powered by the new Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine.
Mr Norris said Air New Zealand’s decision to secure rights to purchase a further 42 aircraft reflects the airline’s belief in the potential to expand its passenger and cargo business into new long haul destinations and increase traffic from existing core routes.
“The purchase rights will give us the ability to choose from a range of aircraft types that best suit our long haul business as it develops in the future. The aircraft options will include the Boeing 777-200 ER, 777-200 LR, 7E7 and the 777-300 ER, which could replace our Boeing 747s in about a decade,” he said.