Air New Zealand issues 787-9 first user riposte

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Air New Zealand (ANZ) will begin using its newly-delivered Boeing 787-9 aircraft on an ad hoc basis, starting in August.

The carrier posted a number of tweets on 25 July saying that it will operate the first commercial flight with the variant. The tweets followed an announcement yesterday from All Nippon Airways, in which the Japanese carrier claimed that it would be the first carrier to operate the variant with charter services in August.

“The [Boeing] 787-9 is scheduled to operate between Auckland and Sydney on a surprise and delight basis from 9 August,” says an Air New Zealand spokeswoman, in response to queries from Flightglobal.

Separately, ANA was unable to comment on the planned deployment of the larger 787 variant, both domestically and internationally. It also indicated that it has only decided on the configuration for the first 18 of 44 aircraft it has on order, which will be delivered until 2016. It is due to receive its first 787-9 on 27 July.

Air New Zealand, which received its first 787-9 earlier this month, had earlier announced that the type will begin flying regularly from October, with Auckland-Perth being the first route. In November, Shanghai and Tokyo will become the next destinations for the carrier's 787-9s.

The airline will receive two more 787s in the current financial year. This will be followed by three more in fiscal year 2016, and the remaining four in the following two years, it adds.