Air New Zealand to fly Perth-Christchurch with Boeing 787-9

By Chris Chamberlin , March 22 2016
Air New Zealand to fly Perth-Christchurch with Boeing 787-9

Virgin Australia partner Air New Zealand will fly its next-gen Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from Perth to Christchurch when summer returns to Australia, marking the airline’s first Boeing 787 passenger flight to NZ’s South Island.

Plying the seasonal route from December 9 2016 to April 29 2017, guests in business class will enjoy fully-flat beds with direct aisle access…

… with premium economy also tucked behind in a 2-3-2 layout:

As the only airline to offer non-stop flights between the two cities, NZ162 is wheels-up from Perth at 11:25pm on Mondays and Fridays, reaching Christchurch at 10:25am the following morning.

On the return, NZ161 pushes back at 2:40pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays for a 4:55pm touchdown in Perth that same afternoon.

“Our Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner has proven to be popular with our customers since it first began operating between Auckland and Perth in September 2014,” said Air New Zealand Chief Sales & Commercial Officer Cam Wallace.

“These mid-haul routes are perfect for experiencing the aircraft’s improved cabin environment including higher humidity and lower cabin altitude which help passengers arrive at their destinations feeling more refreshed,” Wallace continued.

These Boeing 787 Perth-Christchurch flights can now be booked via the Air NZ website, with Virgin Australia Velocity members able to earn Velocity points and status credits when jetting across the pond and beyond.

Also read: Air New Zealand opens new Brisbane Airport lounge

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Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

I'm not surprised its only twice per week... the 787-9 as used by NZ seats 300 people and I don't see Christchurch specifically as having a massive amount of demand for it ex-PER.

It makes me wonder if either QF, Virgin or NZ are going to try out a "Widebody-grade narrowbody" sometime... so a smaller plane can deliver higher frequencies.

Either way, good for NZ! Sure, I wish they brought back sleep-suits but they're a good airline and have been making improvements in their product and fleet.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

19 Feb 2014

Total posts 451

The westbound leg is probably too far at around 6.5hrs.

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 119

Not sure i agree...the Perth-NZ flights are very well used given the size of Perth NZ expat community and the dislike of domestic/international transfers (specifically in Sydney). The 7879 is used to Auckland and I think frequencies are 10x wk , the more interesting question to me is when this Christchurch service will become year round and/or when Qantas might do likewise with their Auckland service.

I never knew there was a large NZ expat community in Perth.  Thanks for the info.

QFF

19 Sep 2013

Total posts 162

PE is nearly full on my flight in a week's time, and the flights were full last year, so it's a very popular flight, even though it's more expensive. Would have been nice to fly PER-ZQN, but probably asking too much. The return AKL-PER flight was re-scheduled to transit from the incoming overseas flight, so it now provides PER folks with another way to cross the Pacific.

Air New Zealand - Airpoints

21 Jan 2016

Total posts 195

The 789 is amazing aircraft and with the lower cabin pressure you do feel more refresh compared with 773/773 for long haul flights.

Have tried economy, premium economy and business premier on the 789 between AKL/PER. My preference is permium economy during the day and if you want some sleep on the night flights then business premier.

I like the premium economy cabin, as it is world of its own, with a small but attenative cabin crew. Also, the beauty is, premium economy passengers are the first passengers to disembark the aircraft, as Air NZ use door 2L for passenger boading and unboarding.

Air NZ will be taking delivery of another three 789's during 2016.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

26 Nov 2012

Total posts 47

Good on Air NZ. Why can't QANTAS be so innovative?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Aug 2014

Total posts 513

They just got out of a sh*t show not too long ago and got the ball rolling with the new J seat, PER lounge, upcoming BNE lounges and LHR lounge too.

They are yet to get the 789s so there's still endless opportunity for innovation there!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Dec 2012

Total posts 66

As the only airline to offer non-stop flights between the two cities, NZ162is wheels-up from Perth at 11:25pm on Mondays and Fridays, reaching Christchurch at 10:25am the following morning. On the return, NZ161 pushes back at 2:40pm on Tuesdays and Saturdays for a 4:55pm touchdown in Perth that same afternoon."

I am wondering what the plane is doing on the ground for that long, or does it do a ferry flight back to the AKL / CHC? Seems as though Aircraft Utilization is not a high priority at NZ... Or does the PER flight arrive in from AKL on Mon & Fri? Thus what happens to the Tues & Sat flights???

Hi Amjid, you're most welcome to ask this question of Air New Zealand directly - we're a business travel website, not an 'aviation' website, so matters like aircraft utilisation aren't things we cover or ask airlines about.

The schedule published is as advised directly by Air NZ. :)

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Dec 2012

Total posts 66

Sure thing Chris... I thought maybe you guys would have some knowledge about it - or maybe some of the other readers / travellers.

Though I'll keep that in mind in the future...


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