Air New Zealand welcomes arrival of first premium heavy 787-9

A supplied image of Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 ZK-NZL. (Air New Zealand)
A supplied image of Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9 ZK-NZL. (Air New Zealand)

Air New Zealand has taken delivery of the first of four Boeing 787-9 featuring a premium heavy configuration that offers more flexibility in how it deploys the fleet as markets develop.

The 787-9, ZK-NZL, landed in Auckland a little before 1900 local time on Sunday, following its ferry flight from the United States.

It is Air New Zealand’s first Dreamliner to be configured in what the airline has termed its “Code 2” cabin layout, comprising 27 seats in business, 33 in premium economy and 215 in economy for a total of 275.

This represented a 20 per cent increase in premium seats compared with the other nine 787-9s already in the fleet, which have 302 seats spread across 18 business and 21 premium economy seats and 263 in economy.

The aircraft has been earmarked to operate the airline’s Auckland-Houston service from December 2017, replacing the Boeing 777-200ER that Air New Zealand currently uses on the route.

Prior to that, Air New Zealand said in a statement on Monday ZK-NZL was scheduled to begin commercial service on Sunday October 15 with a Auckland-Sydney-Auckland rotation.

Air New Zealand showed off the interiors of ZK-NZL on its Instagram account.

The Star Alliance member and Virgin Australia alliance partner has said previously it planned to take delivery of two 787-9s with the heavier premium configuration in 2017/18, with a further two to follow in 2018/19.

Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said recently the lower seat count of these “Code 2” 787-9s offered the airline more flexibility.

“What we’re identifying is as we grow and build these markets, we are going to put different aircraft on at different times as we see the mix of customers change and evolve and become more premium ultimately,” Luxon told analysts during the company’s full year results presentation on August 22.

“So for the Code 2s, yes, we felt we wanted more premium seats and there’s some opportunities in the number of places around the world.

“It gives us an ability to extend range obviously with a lot less economy passengers on board.”

Air New Zealand deploys its 787-9s mainly on trans-Tasman, Pacific Island and Asian services, while its Boeing 777-200ER and 777-300ERs are predominantly used on flights to the Americas. In recent times, the airline has also been using the 787-9 to Buenos Aires.

Comments

  1. Graham says

    Just flew to SYD- SFO return with Air New Zealand..
    It was the worst company i have flown with
    The food was disgusting on every leg the seats had no room to move
    Over all i will never recommend Air New zealand to anyone
    The crew were very over weight (strange)
    Back to Sinapore airlines

  2. Nick says

    Graham

    Air New Zealand is a great company and i would recommend it to anybody. I dont feel like you can really have a valid opinion because of how shallow your comment is about the staff’s weight. Your more then welcome to go back to Singapore Airlines

  3. Hamish says

    Air New Zealand is a fantastic airline with a superb product offering and awesome staff. Will go out of my way to choose Air New Zealand for any long haul flight. Have flown Business, Premium Economy (best) and Economy and they are all top notch. Maybe a Qantas fan?

  4. ben lang says

    @graham it just shows how great the company for allowing overweigh indivudles to be able to work with them

  5. Mal says

    What an odd comment and discussion. Air NZ is very highly rated by various relatively independent assessors and votes from the flying public. The comments are not relevant to the story.

  6. Chris says

    Graham.

    It seems that you flew economy class on a heavily discounted fare. Judging from your comment, that you were seated in the 2nd compartment of economy class, where the heavily discounted fares are seated. This compartment at the rear of the aircraft, has a seat pitch of 78cm with seat width of 17.5ins. The 1st compartment of economy class seat pitch starts from 81cms with seat width of 17.5ins. This seating configuration applies to both the B789’s and B772″s.

    With regards to your comment that the female cabin crew where ‘over weight’, I find that odd, as Air NZ female cabin crew are not allowed to be ‘over weight’.

    I have no complaints with Air NZ cabin services in economy class.

  7. peter says

    fantastic move I use ANZ on a regular basis and prefer paying the extra for premium on flites over 5 hours but its often hard to obtain seats in that class at short notice,people are starting to wise up that paying a bit extra is worth the expense to arrive a lot fresher.As for there service i can’t complain one of the top airlines to fly with just wish they would make 177 there permanent flite from Perth to AK rather than 175 only a 3 hour layover in AK compared to 12 hours

  8. franz chong says

    a GREAT airline.I have yet to try their 787 product but if I do get a chance to go to Auckland I will.Get a Virgin Australia flight to Melbourne(I am from Adelaide)and do whatever it takes to get on the 787 operated afternoon or evening flight.will do the same coming home.

  9. Sdc says

    Air nz have upped their game over last few years. The newer aircraft are great!
    For noncarnivores they could improve their food it’s still ordinary even at the pointy end.
    The higher proportion of premium offerings to the US is a bonus and worth it.
    The Auckland lounge is great on the stop over from Melbourne and the coffe is as good as any in Melbourne .
    Economy is never great with any airline! So graham had a bad flight but long haul at the back is always tough. Probably a lot worse with United or American than Air NZ

  10. kerry says

    what a horrible man…overweight people working – who cares – are you perfect?
    Air NZ is a fantastic airline – if you don’t like the economy product of an airline or the legroom – try premium or business class – economy is what it is – and based on various economy products ANZ is very good