Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon says the airline’s Boeing 767-300ERs are likely to remain in the fleet longer than what had been initially planned to take advantage of new flying opportunities.
The airline is expected to end 2014/15 with five 767s, with the type projected to be fully withdrawn by the end of 2017/18 according to a slide presentation accompanying the airline’s first half results presented in February.
However, Luxon says the 767s may stick around beyond that to serve the Pacific Islands, Australia and some “fly and flop” outbound NZ destinations.
“It is a real option that we have and we probably will extend them I suspect just a couple more years,” Luxon told reporters on the sidelines of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) annual general meeting in Miami on Monday.
“That’s because at the moment our capacity growth in this last six months of this year is about 12 per cent and all of next year it will be around 11 per cent.
“So we are growing fast and we are growing profitably through creating this demand and then adding the supply and the capacity that we need.”
In addition to maintaining the 767s, Air NZ also had options for six more 787-9s beyond the confirmed order for 12 of the type due for delivery between now and the end of 2018/19.
Luxon said Air NZ’s three 787-9s currently in service had performed better than the airline’s own lofty expectations.