Air New Zealand slates first Boeing 787 flights for mid-2014

By David Flynn, February 24 2012
Air New Zealand slates first Boeing 787 flights for mid-2014

Air New Zealand will begin Boeing 787 flights in the middle of 2014 when the Kiwi flag-carrier finally takes delivery of the much-delayed Dreamliner.

"Despite the extremely frustrating and costly delays, we strongly believe the 787-9 is the right aircraft for Air New Zealand and worth the wait," said Air New Zealand CEO Rob Fyfe in the airline's half-yearly report.

As if to underscore his commitment Fyfe has placed orders for two more 787s – which currently list for A$213 million apiece – taking to 10 the number of next-gen jetliners in the AirNZ fleet.

AirNZ has not yet revealed which routes will see the first flight of its 787, however the airline will be pipped at the post by United, which will debut its Boeing 787 on a new Auckland-Houston service this year.

Alison Espley, General Manager of Australia and New Zealand for United, last year told Australian Business Traveller that early-mid 2012 was then a likely date for “United-Continental to take delivery of the 787, which we will be operating between Auckland and Houston.”

That service was previously slated to begin in November 2011, and will connect key Star Alliance hubs Houston Intercontinental Airport – the main base for the former Continental Airlines that United inherited – with Auckland Airport, home to alliance partner Air New Zealand.

Also in AusBT's Boeing 787 Dreamliner coverage...

PHOTO TOUR: Inside Qantas' Boeing 787 Dreamliner Sydney event

Australian Business Traveller presents an excluisve behind-the-scenes look at the first 787 to visit Australia. Read more...

Light fantastic: Boeing 787 Dreamliner's digital window tinting

Bothersome sliding window shades begone! Boeing’s newly-minted 787 Dreamliner sports ‘digital window tinting’ which makes the glass go dark at the touch of a button. Read more...

Inside the Boeing 787's funky crew rest 'loft'

Check out the cool and potentially shagadelic upstairs 'loft' space used by pilot and flight attendants during their scheduled breaks from duty on the 787. Read more...

Photo tour: step inside ANA's new Boeing 787 Dreamliner

Japanese airline ANA is Boeing's launch customer for the 787 Dreamliner – step right up for a detailed photo-tour of ANA's factory-fresh 787 which we snapped during Boeing's launch of the Dreamliner in Seattle. Read more...

Photos and flight report: ANA’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner

What's it like to fly in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner? We visited Tokyo as a guest of ANA for a special 90 minute ‘excursion flight’ from Narita which provided a taste of what the Dreamliner will deliver for travellers (and yes, there's much more than rainbow-like cabin lighting). Read more...

So when will Qantas have the Boeing 787?

Qantas will buy 50 Boeing 787s, but the first deliveries aren't expected until mid-2013 – and those will be for budget offshoot Jetstar. The Red Roo won't get its own Dreamliners until as late as 2016, but you'll see the 787 on domestic as well as international flights. Read more...



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.

10 Mar 2011

Total posts 529

Another airline ahead of the race to Qantas.

Why Qantas give their first ones to Jetstar baffles me. Qantas need to be upgrading their products to compete with the others, especially internationally, yet they give their new planes to Jetstar. Amazing.

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