Air New Zealand will order eight General Electric GEnx-1b-powered Boeing 787-10s to replace its fleet of 777-200ERs.
The deal, which was announced in Auckland on 27 May, includes options for an additional 12 787s, which can be applied to any of the jet's three variants. At list prices, the firm commitment for eight aircraft is valued at $2.7 billion.
Air New Zealand will order eight 787-10s to replace its 777-200ERs
Air New Zealand
Deliveries of the 787-10s will commence in 2022 and be spaced over five years, with the airline planning to phase out its eight 777-200ERs as the new jets roll in.
“In choosing the most fuel efficient widebody aircraft and jet engine on the market, Air New Zealand is delivering on our commitment, we believe, to grow our business sustainably,” says chief executive Christopher Luxon.
“Combined with the General Electric GEnx-1B engine, we expect the 787-10 to be 25% more fuel efficient than the 777-200s they are replacing.”
The interior configuration for the 787-10 will now be worked on by the airline, with it planning to roll out new seating products that will be added to its 787-9s and 777-300ER in future.
The selection of the GEnx to power its latest 787 order came as a surprise, as the carrier’s existing fleet of 13 787-9s are powered by Rolls-Royce Trent 1000s.
“It’s an engine that we have selected for its unrivalled fuel efficiency and its reliability record,” says Luxon.
He adds however that recent troubles around premature wear of some components on its Trent 1000s did not play a part in the engine selection, with that issue treated separately to the order process.
Air NZ also evaluated the Airbus A350 and 777-X as potential replacements for the 777-200ER before selecting the 787-10.
“Boeing has been a fantastic partner throughout the selection process, and I am really pleased to say that the aircraft we have secured strengthens our long haul operations in a very competitive market, with the ability to do the same missions that our 777-200 fleet does today,” says Luxon.
"The 787-10 we will receive is not only a natural candidate for our destinations across Asia, but it will also be a great link for New Zealand linking it to the east coast of America as well."