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Air New Zealand has signed commitments to purchase eight Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners.
The planes, valued a US$2.7 billion at list prices, will be powered by GE Aviation’s GEnx-1B engines.
The first of these highly fuel-efficient aircraft will join the Air New Zealand fleet in 2022.
Air New Zealand currently operates a fleet of 13 787-9 Dreamliners which chief executive, Christopher Luxon, said have proved to be the perfect aircraft for the airline’s Pacific Rim focus.
“The 787-10 is longer and even more fuel efficient.
“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.
“This is a hugely important decision for our airline.
“With the 787-10 offering almost 15 per cent 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,” added Luxon.
In addition to the eight firm orders announced today, the agreement includes options to increase the number of aircraft from eight to up to 20.
The airline has also negotiated substitution rights that allow a switch from the larger 787-10 aircraft to smaller 787-9s, or a combination of the two models for future fleet and network flexibility.
The delivery schedule can also be delayed or accelerated according to market demand.
These new long-haul aircraft will replace Air New Zealand’s fleet of eight 777-200 aircraft, which will be phased out by 2025.
Combined with GE’s GEnx-1B engines, they are expected to be 25 per cent more fuel efficient than the aircraft they’re replacing.
Luxon signed the letters of intent with Boeing vice president commercial sales and marketing Asia Pacific, Christy Reese, and GE Aviation’s newly named vice president of global sales and marketing, Jason Tonich, at Air New Zealand’s headquarters in Auckland today.