Air New Zealand has today announced a significant investment in its international fleet with a commitment to purchase eight Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft, and the option to increase that number to 20.

At today’s list prices, the agreement represents a value of US $2.7 billion. As is usual with such orders, Air New Zealand has negotiated a significant discount on the list price and the parties have agreed not to disclose the actual purchase price.

The first new aircraft is expected to join the Air New Zealand fleet in late 2022 with the remainder delivered at intervals through to 2027.

Air New Zealand currently operates a fleet of 13 787-9 Dreamliners which Chief Executive Christopher Luxon says 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 percent 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,” says Mr Luxon.

One of the routes expected to be launched with the new aircraft is Auckland to New York.

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.

Air New Zealand’s widebody fleet currently consists of 13 Boeing 787-9s, eight Boeing 777-200s and seven Boeing 777-300 aircraft. A 14th Boeing 787-9 will enter the fleet later this year.

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