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Air NZ to announce 777-200 replacement by June

Air New Zealand is continuing to work through proposals from Airbus and Boeing to replace its eight Boeing 777-200ERs, with a decision to be announced before the end of June.

“Aircraft selection is still in progress…We are still expecting to announce our selection before the end of the current financial year,” chief financial officer Jeff McDowall said in the airline’s first-half earnings call.

Air NZ has indicated that it is looking at the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787 and 777-X as potential replacements for the 777-200ERs, which Cirium’s Fleets Analyzer shows have an average age of 12.8 years.

Four of the jets are leased from AerCap, while the carrier owns the rest.

It also operates two other 777-200ERs on short-term leases from Boeing Capital Corporation that are being used to cover a shortage of capacity caused by issues with its 787s' Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines.

McDowall has previously indicated that the first of the new widebodies would likely join the fleet in the second half of the 2022 financial year.

The airline also expects to throttle back its fleet replacement efforts over the next 18 months, with seven A320/A321neos and two ATR 72-600s set to join the fleet in the six months to June.

In the 2020 financial year, it is slated to take delivery of five more A320/A321neos, six ATR 72s and one 787-9, with none scheduled for the year after.

Three more A320neo family jets are due in 2022, with two more A321neos expected for delivery in 2024.

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