Air NZ opts for Airbus

written by australianaviation.com.au | November 3, 2009
A320 AM
photo - Andrew McLaughlin

Air New Zealand has ordered 14 new Airbus A320s to replace 15 Boeing 737-300s for domestic services, to join 12 A320s already in service for trans Tasman and Pacific routes.

The deal, announced on November 3, also includes purchase options on 11 further A320s, which could possibly be upgraded to A321s.

The first A320 from the order will arrive in January 2011, with more aircraft arriving through until the end of 2016 as leases on the 737s expire. While the order is worth over US$1bn (A$1bn) at list prices, Air NZ says that it has “secured the aircraft at a discount that reflects the current market conditions.”

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The aircraft will be powered by IAE V2500 engines, albeit a more advanced version compared to its current A320s. The new A320s will also have a domestic configuration, which is likely to be an all-economy, 171-seat arrangement.

“Our 12 Airbus A320s already deployed on short haul international routes are performing well, and moving to one single-aisle aircraft type for both domestic and short haul international routes will immediately deliver added efficiencies in maintenance, crew training, and overall fleet simplification,” said Bruce Parton, Air New Zealand general manager short haul airline.

The A320 Family was chosen after a competitive evaluation that also considered the Boeing 737-800.

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