Air New Zealand plans to boost capacity between Perth and Christchurch when it uses the 787-9 Dreamliner on the seasonal route from December.
Previously, Air NZ’s Perth-Christchurch flights, which operate during the summer months, have been flown with 230-seat Boeing 767-300ERs comprising 24 in business and 206 in economy.
However, the airline said on Tuesday it would deploy the 787-9s, which are configured with 18 business, 21 premium economy and 263 economy seats for a total of 302 seats, on its twice-weekly service which begins December 9 2016 and runs until April 29 2017.
Air NZ said it would be the first scheduled 787-9 services to and from NZ’s South Island.
“Our Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has proven to be popular with our customers since it first began operating between Auckland and Perth in September 2014,” Air NZ chief sales and commercial officer Cam Wallace said in a statement on Tuesday.
“These mid-haul routes are perfect for experiencing the aircraft’s improved cabin environment including higher humidity and lower cabin altitude which help passengers arrive at the destinations feeling more refreshed.”
Air NZ currently has six 787-9s in its fleet, with a further six due for delivery between now and 2019. Meanwhile, the last of the airline’s five 767s was scheduled to be retired in 2017.