Air New Zealand: Boeing 787-9 remains on track to debut next year

By David Flynn, March 1 2013
Air New Zealand: Boeing 787-9 remains on track to debut next year

Air New Zealand remains confident that Boeing's stretched 787-9 Dreamliner will make its debut in little over a year from now, despite ongoing issues with the aircraft's batteries.

The Kiwi flag-carrier is Boeing's global launch customer for the 787-9, which Boeing says can seat up to 290 passengers across three classes compared to the baseline 210-250 headcount (or should that be bumcount?) of the 787-8.

Speaking after yesterday's release of the airline's half-year financial report, Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon allowed that he'd be less relaxed "if I was taking delivery of those aircraft in the next three to six months."

But with the 787-9 slated for mid-2014 "we are very confident" of Boeing hitting the delivery schedule for the first of ten 787-9s, which will replace older Boeing 767-300ERs currently used on medium-haul international routes such as to Australia and Japan, as well as launching new long-haul routes.

Luxon's line echoes that of former CEO Rob Fyfe, who almost a year ago said that "we strongly believe the 787-9 is the right aircraft for Air New Zealand and worth the wait."

The airline is now locking down the seating layout for its Dreamliner fleet, which an Air NZ spokeswoman told Australian Business Traveller would be done by "midyear, probably."

Each 787-9 will sport a three-class configuration of Business Premier business classpremium economy (using the airline's award-winning Spaceseat) and Economy, with Fyfe last year confirming that "the fitout that we're looking to deploy is consistent with the fitout on our Boeing 777-300 today."

For the very latest news and reviews, follow Australian Business Traveller on Twitter: we're @AusBT.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

04 Sep 2012

Total posts 136

The sooner NZ gets rid of their 767's and replaces them with the new 787 the better. ATM there is alot of veriation of the onboard products in its fleet. The 77W is great but its not offered on the 744, 772 or 763. Simplified fleet of the 77W updated 772 and 787 and the new domestic 322...cant wait!

Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Air New Zealand: Boeing 787-9 remains on track to debut next year