Air New Zealand is replacing its Airbus international
aircraft with new models worth $1.6 billion as it refreshes
In a deal announced this morning, the airline said it will
buy 13 Airbus A320neo (new engine option) international
planes and another A320 to join its domestic fleet.
Among the international planes are at least three A321neos
which are part of the A320 family but have a stretched
fuselage that can hold more passengers and fly further.
The aircraft will be used on Tasman and Pacific Island
The announcement comes as the airline prepares for the
arrival of the first of 10 widebody Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner
planes for use on longhaul routes.
The A320neo aircraft will replace Air New Zealand's current
fleet of 13 A320s which operate the majority of the airline's
short-haul international services.
Equipped with new generation engines and fuel efficient swept
up sharklet wing tips they are expected to deliver fuel
savings of up to 15 per cent on the airline's existing A320s
which first joined the fleet in 2003.
Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon signed the
agreement with Airbus chief operating officer, customers,
John Leahy at the International Air Transport Association's
annual general meeting in Doha, Qatar, early today.
While the list price totals around $1.6 billion, the airline
has received undisclosed discounts for the order.
Shareholder approval is not required as the value of the
transaction is below the "relevant thresholds", the airline
Air New Zealand has two separate fleets of A320s, one with a
168-seat international configuration and one in domestic with
The domestic A320s are being phased in to replace ageing
The airline said A321neos have 38 more seats than the A320s
which fly to Australia and the Pacific Islands.
The first A321neo is due in late 2017 with the remainder of
the aircraft delivered at intervals through until 2019.
The additional A320 for the domestic fleet will be delivered
early next year.
Luxon said the purchase was part of the aim of simplifying
its fleet, a key part of its "Go Beyond" strategy of high
"Operating one narrow body aircraft type will bring important
efficiencies in training, maintenance and operating costs,"
Airbus said the A320neo family of aircraft is the world's
best-selling single aisle aircraft.
The company already has some 2700 orders for A320neo models
from 50 customers around the globe.
• Airbus A320neos are the latest generation of the popular
single aisle jet
• Air NZ will buy 13 of the planes
• The stretched version can hold up to 220 passengers