MIAMI — Air New Zealand has placed an order for eight Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners, worth $2.7 billion at current list prices. The airline also chose General Electric’s GEnx-1B engines to power the new planes.
According to the airline, the first 787-10 is scheduled to join the fleet in 2022, complementing the 13 787-9s that Air New Zealand currently operates.
“This is a hugely important decision for our airline,” said Air New Zealand’s CEO, Christopher Luxon.
“With the 787-10 offering almost 15% 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,” he added.
Air New Zealand’s commitment to purchase eight 787-10s includes options to increase the order up to 20 aircraft, as well as free substitution rights that would allow the carrier to swap between the 787-9 and 787-10 when needed.
Also, Air New Zealand noted that the delivery schedule of these planes may be “delayed or accelerated according to market demand.”
The airline’s CEO explained that the 787-10 “is longer and even more fuel efficient” than the 787-9.
“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.”
Last week, Airways reported that an 18-month-long decision process was coming to an end for Air New Zealand, as it was on the verge of choosing new Airbus or Boeing aircraft to replace its aging 777-200ER fleet.
The two final choices, according to Reuters, were to either placing additional Boeing 787 Dreamliners or opting for the Airbus A350.
Reuters later confirmed that, according to a source related to the matter, Air New Zealand had chosen the Boeing wide-body portfolio over Airbus. And today’s release finally confirms it.
The new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners will effectively replace the carrier’s 777-200(ER) planes, which should be completely phased out by 2025—about three years after the new 787s begin making their way into the fleet.
Air New Zealand claims that the 787-10 will deliver as much as 25% savings in fuel consumption and carbon emissions on the same missions that the Triple-Sevens were deployed on.
As far as Boeing is concerned, these are certainly good news, as the manufacturer continues to mitigate the public relations nightmare related to the grounding of its 737 MAX program.
Christy Reese, Vice President of Boeing Commercial Sales and Marketing for the Asia Pacific, said to be, “honored 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.”
Likewise, in a very interesting move, the airline has opted to power the new planes with the General Electric option, rather than the Rolls-Royce, which powers all of the 13 787-9s in Air New Zealand’s fleet.
Jason Tonich, GE Aviation’s Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing said that the company is also “honored to be selected to power and support Air New Zealand’s new fleet of 787-10 aircraft with our GEnx-1B engines.”
Overall, these are very positive news for both Air New Zealand and Boeing. The carrier will keep fleet commonality between its Boeing 777-200/300s and 787-9/-10s.