Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will see a brand new Boeing 787-9 appearing on flights from Auckland later this year as Air New Zealand beds down its first Dreamliner.
The Kiwi carrier will take delivery of the first of ten 787-9s in July, with that plane to begin flying a daily Auckland-Perth route from October 15th.
However, Air New Zealand has confirmed that the Dreamliner will be temporarily rostered onto trans-Tasman flights to Australia's three east coast cities before the Perth service commences.
The 787-9 flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will start “sometime in July or August, definitely in September” says Captain David Morgan, Air New Zealand's chief flight operations officer.
"We will put the aircraft into service across the Tasman for crew training and also to ensure that the aeroplane is integrated seamlessly into our network” Morgan tells Australian Business Traveller.
“We’re certainly not going to have it sitting around on the ground after the delivery in July!”
The Dreamliner will certainly stand out at Aussie airports, as it will be painted in Air New Zealand's iconic 'all black' livery.
However, unlike Jetstar's Melbourne-Gold Coast and Melbourne-Cairns runs for its first Dreamliner, Morgan says Air New Zealand's trans-Tasman 787-9 services won't be firmly scheduled.
Passengers won't be able to book a particular flight across the pond with certainty that it will be the Boeing 787, "it will just depend on the day" Morgan says.
That 'surprise and delight' aspect will prove a treat for lucky trans-Tasman travellers.
We're hoping that top-tier members of Air New Zealand's Airpoints frequent flyer scheme, and the Velocity program of its partner Virgin Australia, will benefit from upgrades to the lie-flat business class beds or even the new premium economy seats.
Australian Business Traveller visited Auckland as a guest of Boeing.
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