Air New Zealand has announced it is ordering 13 Airbus A320neo aircraft, including no fewer than three A321neos, which will be used to operate trans-Tasman and Pacific Island services from late 2017.
The order for 13 A320neos plus a single standard A320 to join the airline’s domestic fleet was announced by Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon during IATA’s annual general meeting currently being held in Qatar.
“Today’s announcement is incredibly exciting for Air New Zealand as we continue our unprecedented investment in next generation aircraft and tool the business up for growth,” Luxon said on Sunday.
“With the announcement of this purchase we can confirm our intention to have an Airbus narrowbody fleet. Operating one narrowbody aircraft type will bring important efficiencies in training, maintenance and operating costs.”
The neos will replace 13 existing A320s used on trans-Tasman and Pacific services on a one-for-one basis, but with at least three of the neos to be the larger A321neo variant, which will seat 38 more passengers than the existing A320s, the order allows for some capacity growth in those markets. Deliveries will begin in late 2017 and continue through until 2019, while the single additional standard A320 will be delivered in 2015.
No engine selection has been announced for the neos, while the airline says the “purchase agreement is for a combination of A321neo and A320neo aircraft” and that the “exact mix will be confirmed over time but will be a minimum of three A321neo aircraft.”