Air New Zealand Places $1.6 Billion Airbus Order
A330 Widebody Update Under Consideration, Says Aircraft Manufacturer
Airbus and Air New Zealand announced an order for new A320neo jets at the International Air Transport Association’s annual meeting in Doha Sunday.
The order, valued at $1.6 billion at list prices, is comprised of ten A320neo, three A321neo, and one A320ceo aircraft. The airline said it plans to use them on its Tasman and Pacific Island routes.
Air New Zealand currently operates two separate fleets of A320 aircraft, namely an international configuration and a domestic one. It also has seven older Boeing 737-300s it uses on domestic routes. The airline’s CEO, Christopher Luxon, said in a statement that it is moving towards an all-Airbus narrow-body fleet to increase efficiencies in training, maintenance, and operating costs. It operates an all-Boeing wide-body fleet and is the launch customer for the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
The A320neo jets will be equipped with new engines and sharklet wing tip devices, and will be 15% more fuel efficient that the current A320s, according to the airline.
At the signing, Airbus said its schedule for the A320neo jet was not affected after rival Bombardier reported an “engine-related incident” during stationary maintenance testing of its Cseries jet, which uses a similar engine to that planned for the A320 neo, on Thursday.
“It should not affect us in the slightest, this is a different engine,” said Airbus’ head of sales, John Leahy, to journalists after Airbus on Sunday signed a purchase order with Air New Zealand for 14 jets.
Leahy also said that the aircraft manufacturer was close to a decision on whether it will update its 20-year-old A330 wide-body jet.
“We’re studying it very carefully. Watch this space,” he told reporters.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)