Boeing has received US Federal Aviation Administration approval for up to 330-minute extended range operations (ETOPS) for the 777.
The FAA approval applies to 777-300ER, -200LR, -200ER and 777 Freighters equipped with General Electric engines. Approval for 777-200ERs equipped with Rolls-Royce and Pratt & Whitney engines is expected in the coming months, Boeing said.
The nod certifies that 777s are able to safely fly as much as five and a half hours if one of their engines fails and the aircraft needs to make an emergency diversion. That allows airlines to fly more direct routes over unpopulated areas such as the North Pole and the South Pacific and could speed flights from Australia to South America and southern Africa.
Boeing said Air New Zealand is the first carrier to purchase the new longer range ETOPS kit.