Air New Zealand will operate the Boeing 787-9 to the Pacific Islands for the first time in November when it commences seasonal Dreamliner service between Auckland and Nadi.
The inaugural 787 flight is scheduled to take place on November 27 and the Boeing twin will remain on the route until March 2016, Air NZ said on Tuesday.
“Fiji continues to be a hugely popular destination for Kiwis with the number of Kiwis travelling there growing steadily over the past three years,” Air NZ chief sales and commercial officer Cam Wallace said in a statement.
“We’re thrilled to be able to meet growing demand for Fiji as a destination with more seats and the exceptional Dreamliner experience.”
Air NZ said the 787-9 would be used twice a week on the route. However the widebody would be deployed five times a week from mid-December to late January to meet increased demand over the school holiday period.
Virgin Australia recently introduced widebody operations to Nadi with Airbus A330-200 service from Sydney on a seasonal basis.
Meanwhile, Air NZ said last week it would add an extra 650,000 seats in its home domestic market in 2015/16 to meet the strong demand for air travel through increased flight frequencies and the replacement of Boeing 737-300s with larger Airbus A320s.
The airline said there would be about 180,000 more seats between Christchurch and Auckland, 110,000 more seats between Queenstown and Auckland and 135,000 more seats on the Auckland-Wellington route.
And the regions are also getting a capacity boost, with the likes Whanganui–Auckland, Kerikeri-Auckland, Napier-Auckland and Taupo-Auckland also receiving up to 25,000 additional seats in the next financial year.
“Forecast economic growth is expected to boost domestic demand, particularly in the Canterbury region,” Wallace said.
“Our investment of more than $1.2 billion in new domestic jet and turbo-prop aircraft is enabling us to increase the frequency of flights for our customers and to operate larger aircraft on regional routes where there is sufficient demand.”