Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Air New Zealand to phase out last 737s in September

Air New Zealand Boeing 737-3K2 (28085/2722) ZK-NGM departs Auckland International Airport (AKL/NZAA) on September 22, 2010.
(Photo by Michael Dawson)

Air New Zealand will phase out its final two Boeing 737-300s in September, completing the transition of its domestic jet fleet to Airbus A320s.

“We’ll be out of the 737s next month, so we are on an A320 cost base with a well configured aircraft, [with] lower unit costs,” chief executive Christopher Luxon says.

He was speaking during a briefing after the carrier revealed a 39% rise in operating earnings to NZ$548 million for the financial year ended 30 June.

Flightglobal’s Ascend Fleets database shows that the airline now has 27 A320s in service, and has orders for two more of the baseline variants, as well as 14 re-engined A320neos and four A321neos.

The A320neos will start delivering in fiscal 2018, the airline says. Those aircraft will gradually replace the A320ceos it flies on transtasman services.

Air NZ will also start to draw down its fleet of Boeing 767s over the next year, with all five aircraft to be withdrawn by the end of fiscal 2018.

Earlier this year, Luxon told Flightglobal that the airline was looking at potentially retaining the 767s longer, but now says that it will continue to roll them out as it continues to take delivery of new 787-9s.

The airline will take delivery of three 787s in fiscals 2016 and 2017, with two due in 2018 and one in 2019.

By the end of fiscal year 2017, the carrier will also have removed the final three Beech 1900D turboprops from its group fleet, as it focuses its regional operations around larger Bombardier Dash 8-Q300s and ATR 72s.

(Ellis Taylor - Flightglobal News)

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