Air New Zealand and Boeing have inked a $2.7 billion (at list prices) worth contract for eight 787-10s. The Dreamliners are to replace the airline’s aging 777-200ERs. The airline, which already operates several Trent 1000-powered Dreamliners, appears to be tired with the never-ending Rolls-Royce engines issues, as it opted for Genx for its new purchase.
On September 25, 2019, Air New Zealand has confirmed the order for eight GEnx engine-powered 787-10s with option to increase the order by 12 more aircraft. The airline, Boeing and GE Aviation have initially made the deal in May 2019 by signing a letter of intent.
New Dreamliners, seating up to 330 passengers in a standard two-class configuration, are replacing the aging 777-200ERs in Air New Zealand’s fleet. Air NZ Chief Pilot, Captain David Morgan told NewsHub that the company has looked at Boeing 777X and Airbus A350 as potential replacement aircraft for its Boeing 777-200s, but decided to settle on Boeing 787-10 as it “is the right airplane for us”.
The deliveries are due to begin in September 2022 and last until 2027 (financial years of 2023-2028), unless the carrier decided to take the additional 12 787-10s, in which case deliveries would stretch until 2030 (financial year of 2031).
At that time, the carrier’s long haul fleet will consist of seven 777-300ERs, 14 787-9s and, of course, the eight 787-10s. However, the airline has also assured its shareholders that it has the right to switch from 787-10s to smaller 787-9s if it sees the need. The delivery schedule can also be delayed or accelerated by the airline.
“As many of you will know, in May, we announced our intention to replace our current fleet of Boeing 777-200 aircraft with the Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner powered by GE engines,” the airline’s CEO told shareholders before the voting on September 25, 2019. “Subject to shareholder approval later today, this multi-billion-dollar investment will be a game changer for our airline, offering a 25 percent improvement in fuel efficiency and opening up new opportunities for profitable network growth in the future”.
Air New Zealand currently operates 13 Dreamliners of the smaller -9 version (and is awaiting delivery of one more), which are powered by Trent 1000 engines. However, it appears that it had enough with problems plaguing Rolls-Royce engines. Of the two engine types available for Dreamliners (the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 and the GE GEnx), the airline has settled for the latter.
“The issues we faced with the global Rolls-Royce engines which impacted not only the Boeing 787 fleet, but our entire network, as uncertainty around aircraft availability had numerous knock-on effects across the business,” the airline’s chairman told shareholders on September 25, 2019.
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