A321neo. Photo: Air New Zealand

LONDON – Air New Zealand (ANZ) has become another new operator of the Airbus A321neo. The airline received the first of 20 A320neo family aircraft that it has on order. 

Source: Air New Zealand

The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney’s Pure Power engines and is painted in the airline’s iconic All-Blacks livery for the national rugby team. 

ZK-NNA, the aircraft in question, seats up to 214 passengers in a single class layout of Economy.

The plane was delivered from the Airbus facility in Hamburg, flying to Muscat, Kuala Lumpur, Cairns, and Auckland, totaling 12,000 miles of traveling distance.

The 20 A320neo family aircraft will initially add capacity on the carrier’s trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes before launching domestic services.

Out of the 20, 13 of them are A321neos and six of them are A320neos. 

These aircraft will start to slowly replace the 30 A320-200s already in the airline’s fleet.

The carrier is already well-experienced with Airbus, having a total of 30 A320ceo aircraft currently in service.

Air New Zealand’s relationship with Airbus stems from 2003 when it received its first non-Boeing aircraft since the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 in 1982.

The A320-200 was initially introduced to replace the Boeing 767-200ER and 737-300 on the routes that it operates to date.

In all, this aircraft is the beginning of ANZ’s fleet renewal and what is to come.

ANZ will benefit from an extra 300-500 miles of range with the new A321neos, as compared to the A320-200’s range that are currently in operation.

This could enable the carrier to introduce new destinations within that extended range and offer new portfolios.

It will be interesting to see which routes it will be introduced on for inaugurals and the first few weeks of commercial operations.