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Air New Zealand to operate 787-9 to Adelaide

written by | March 15, 2017
A file image of an Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9.
A file image of an Air New Zealand Boeing 787-9.

Adelaide will become the fifth Australian city to receive Air New Zealand widebody services from October when the airline deploys the Boeing 787-9 to the South Australian capital.

Flights with the Dreamliner were scheduled to begin from October 26 2017, offering South Australians business and premium economy options for travel to New Zealand, the South Pacific and the Americas via Air New Zealand’s Auckland hub.

“This change is really going to enhance the experience we offer our customers travelling between South Australia and New Zealand as well as onto our North and South America destinations, with more choice about when and how they fly,” Air New Zealand chief revenue officer Cam Wallace said in a statement on Wednesday.


The Star Alliance member is the only airline offering nonstop flights between Adelaide and Auckland. Currently, it operates the route six times a week with Airbus A320 narrowbodies, with trans-Tasman alliance partner Virgin Australia codesharing on the service.

The decision to use the 787-9 to Adelaide will mean a reduction in frequency to three flights a week. However, Air New Zealand said it would add three A320 services on the route during the summer holiday period between December 2017 and January 2018.

The airline said capacity on the route would increase by 23 per cent during the peak season from October to March, compared with the prior corresponding period.

Adelaide will join Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney as Australian points where Air New Zealand deploys either its Boeing 787-9, 777-200ER and/or 777-300ER widebodies.


The New Zealand flag carrier has focused heavily on boosting international transfer passengers in recent times, with a particular emphasis on capturing a larger share of Australians heading to the Americas, where it serves six destinations – Buenos Aires, Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver.

Efforts have included sale fares of less than $1,000 for a return ticket to the US, as well as the use of more widebodied services to ensure a consistent product offering on the trans-Tasman leg and the long-haul flight across the Pacific.

In October, Air New Zealand launched an Australian advertising campaign featuring the voice of Australian actor Bryan Brown in a new marketing effort to increase Australians’ awareness of the airline’s network beyond New Zealand.

At the time, Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said the push for more Australian transfer traffic to the Americas could pave the way for more widebody services on its trans-Tasman schedule.

Figures from the airline from the end of 2016 showed about 20 per cent of passengers on Air New Zealand’s Houston service, and about 40 per cent of passengers bound for Buenos Aires were from Australia. Both routes were launched in December 2015.

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  • Will


    Just more good news for Adelaide, nothing really surprising! Keep it up Adelaide Airport

  • Lechuga


    This is pretty big for Adelaide

  • Andrew Ewen


    The use of the 787 is great in some respects, they can now offer a consistent product for travellers connecting to the Americas….But the reduction in frequency is the trade off…. I guess time will show whether they can eventually build this route to the point where they can have both frequency and the longhaul product

  • Anil Kattula


    Meanwhile Qantas can’t even operate one international flight from Adelaide. Air NZ are fast becoming Australia’s second national airline behind Emirates! Both airlines now operate more flights out of Australia than our own airlines. Well done Air NZ on supporting the people of Australia who don’t live in Sydney.

  • Rhino


    Personally, I would take frequency (ie daily flights) over larger aircraft.

  • Jarden


    Air NZ also sends the 777s to Cairns so for Adelaide will be 6th Australian port to receive the wide body treatment. Just need to get Gold Coast lined up with them.

  • Marc GC


    I can feel the electricity in the air.

  • Dave


    Good on AirNZ leading the way! I prefer them over QF/VA anyday. And even more so than EK! As too that EK are losing a big strong hold, they only have an average capacity of 67 percent of full flights

  • Gary



    Whilst not a fan of EK, where are you getting the figures? Apart from low outbound figures from ADL for both EK and QR in Oct (below 50%) and November (low 50s), this was attributed to the end of the peak European travel season. Dec and Jan they are back above 80%.

  • David


    Why is it that Qantas don’t offer flights from ADL.. I have been saying for some time that once they have enough 787’s, they should offer an ADL – AKL – LAX route. If not LAX, another North American route, maybe DFW, SEA, SFO to name a few.

  • Anil Kattula


    Air NZ now has a spare A320 from these flights. How about using it to fly Auckland – Canberra – Auckland. Could even do Auckland-Hobart-Auckland and Auckland- Newcastle- Auckland a couple of times per week before doing a daily Canberra return in arvo. How about Hobart – Auckland- Canberra-Auckland- Hobart daily!

  • Michael


    I look forward to the day I can do direct ADL -LA or SFO or DRW
    Good to that Cairns is in the picture, instead of going Auckland, do a small hub in Cairns

  • peter


    all very well to say lets have flights from smaller centres but if the loadings are not consistent then they are doomed to fail …how are the pax numbers stacking up on the Canberra Wellington flight atm and return that SIA are flying….But good on ANZ for supporting our smaller cities something our two major airlines don’t seem interested iin

  • kLANE


    Hobart must be in their sights – watch this space i suspect for Hobart – Auckland tie up or Canberra – Akl given A320 freed up

  • Al


    Anil, the A320 will be pressed back into service 3 days a week on this route after a month so not much spare capacity for new routes

  • Craigy


    @David. Why would Qantas want to fly ADL-AKL-LAX? The sensible option would be ADL-LAX direct.

    @Anil Having read your posts for many months, you are clearly clueless about airline operations. You have this fixation that Qantas is Sydney centric. Try looking sometime at the Qantas international network. The reason why Qantas doesn’t operate services from ADL internationally is that there is not enough passengers to justify point to point services. Other airlines feed into their hubs and passengers are dispersed accordingly. And re Newcastle. They do not have the facilities to allow international flights. And how do you know ANZ have a spare A320. Are you involved with the scheduling of aircraft to serve the timetable. You have obviously developed a business plan for these routes with expected passenger numbers and projected airfares and cargo and expected expenditure to justify the routes you propose.

    @ Jarden So you are proposing people fly ANZ from the Gold Coast to Auckland to connect with a flight to LA when they could drive to Brisbane and fly direct?

    @Dave you state that emirates have an average of 67% load factor. Do you know whether this load factor is a loss or are they making money?

  • C A


    @Anil Kattula

    Do you ever have anything nice to say about any australian airline…ever? You are very negative towards our own industry from previous messages I have read of yours, to the point of constipating hatred towards the aussie carriers….Just take a moment to think of how good we do have it here at home in all aspects of our aviation scene, including our open skies that makes you love every foreign airline over our own, and thank those that make it possible for you to have a competitive aviation sector here….have a nice day!!

  • Alan H


    Your idea sounds right on the money! Now that Singapore Airlines is doing 3 days/week flights of Singapore – Canberra – Wellington and return, and the Australian airlines have shown scant interest in matching them, this would be a great move by Air NZ to provide a direct link from Canberra – Auckland and beyond!

  • Joseph



    If NZ do have a spare A320, they should do AKL/CBR/AKL connecting with all their flights to USA & Canada.

    Freedom Air did AKL/NTL/AKL but when they pulled out, no one took their place, although know of someone who was trying to use a 757 on same route, but they got no assistance from NTL.

    All of those Kiwi Air/Freedom Air routes that are no longer flown – surely some could be revived ?

    Hamilton, Palmerston North & maybe reintroduce twice weekly flights SYD/ROT ?

  • Ian Deans


    Qantas = hopeless.

    Good on the internationals for providing service when our own flag carrier (the Sydney airline) chooses not to.
    Hope they all succeed admirably.

  • Will


    QANTAS? You mean Air Sydney right?

  • Goldy


    Qantas is a great airline with generally fabulous staff … but they are a Sydney based airline plain as the nose on your fave craigy !!with all the competition who cares any more ?

  • Rogah


    I really hope us here in Adelaide see this NZ787-9 as a regular feature and we lose the A320 service.
    The smaller aircraft is harder to deal with when flying for more than 3 hours.
    This is an excellent move by Air NZ to have some consistency for connections to its North/South American service but saying that, Adelaide is a very thin route due to a small population in SA.
    As for the Gulf carriers, across the Tasman they have good returns on cargo and the aircraft is better utilised travelling across the Tasman than sitting on the tarmac in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
    Emirates should think of adding an NZ service to provide a connection to Auckland or Christchurch, if viable, to provide some competition. Shame that Qantas has left Adelaide for dead but if that means that Adelaide airport will gain some Asian carriers which have access to large populations then, we might be better for it as we need all the business and international media we can get.

  • Harrison


    Air New Zealand Should Fly To Coffs Harbour And Avalon.

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