Air New Zealand’s dream of non-stop flights to New York may be on the cusp of becoming a reality after placing an order for eight aircraft capable of flying further.

The Kiwi carrier today confirmed a deal with Boeing for eight personalised 787-10 Dreamliners, which Air New Zealand Chief Executive Christopher Luxon said will open new growth opportunities and feed into the airline’s future strategic direction.

Although Luxon didn’t elaborate on these new “network needs”, the airline had previously flagged intentions to build on its American network while also following Qantas down the path of ultra-long-haul flights with non-stop services between Auckland and New York.

The 787-9 version of the aircraft is already capable of flying non-stop between AKL and NYC, a distance of 14,200km, depending on how many passengers they have on board.

A higher premium mix onboard and fewer passengers would allow the planes to fly further.

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The first of the new fuel-efficient aircraft will arrive in 2022 and will replace Air New Zealand’s fleet of eight 777-200 aircraft, which will be phased out by 2025.

In addition to expanding the airline’s portfolio, the highly fuel-efficient Boeing 787-10 will be designed to meet the carrier’s needs including a reduction in carbon emissions by 190,000 tonnes per year and adding 15 percent more space for customers.

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“This is a hugely important decision for our airline.”

Christopher Luxon, Air New Zealand Chief Executive

Air New Zealand’s agreement with Boeing also includes an option to increase its order from eight to 20 aircraft as well as the rights to switch from the larger 787-10 to the smaller 787-9s. The delivery schedule can also be delayed or accelerated according to market demand.

 

Where would you like to see Air NZ fly to non-stop?