Rolls-Royce (R-R) has won the first competition to supply 7E7 engines, with a deal to power two aircraft for Air New Zealand (ANZ) with Trent 1000s. ANZ, which last week announced plans to order two 7E7-8s in its Boeing 767 replacement contest, said it had rejected the rival General Electric GENX.

ANZ also confirmed plans to acquire eight leased and purchased Boeing 777-200ERs, which will be powered by R-R Trent 800s. In addition, it is taking purchase rights on 42 more Boeing widebodies. The deals remain subject to shareholder approval.

The carrier is the second announced customer for the 7E7, which was launched in April with a 50-strong order from All Nippon Airways (ANA). ANA is expected to make an engine selection by the autumn of this year and the GENX is the strong favourite.

ANZ's 7E7s will be the long-range -8 variant, seating around 230 passengers. The airline selected the 7E7 and 777-200ER over the Airbus A330/340.

Four of the new 777-200ERs will be purchased and the four others leased from International Lease Finance (ILFC). They will be delivered between September 2005 and the second half of 2006.

The delivery dates for the two 7E7s have yet to be determined, but "will coincide with the retirement from service of the remaining 767s", says ANZ.

As part of the airline's batch of 42 purchase rights, the deal is also believed to include 17 777-300ERs which will form the backbone of the carrier's long term 747-400 replacement strategy.

ANZ's long-haul fleet currently comprises 10 767s and eight 747-400s. By early 2007 the fleet will comprise the eight 777-200ERs, seven 747s and five 767s, "as leased aircraft will be returned as contracts expire", the carrier says.



Source: Flight International