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Major milestone for Air New Zealand’s 787-9 programme

9-May-2013 10:00 AM

Air New Zealand stated (09-May-2013) the first of Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787-9 aircraft to be constructed has achieved a major milestone this week with the arrival of the first major part of the new aircraft at Boeing’s Everett factory in Seattle three weeks ahead of schedule. The aircraft is approaching the crucial final assembly phase which means the horizontal stabiliser section that arrived this week from another US based Boeing facility is the first of many that will be delivered to Seattle over the coming weeks to form the first 787-9 aircraft. Air New Zealand is the launch customer for the 787-9 and the airline will take delivery of 10 of these aircraft to its fleet between 2014 and 2017. Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon describes the 787-9 as a game changer for the airline, stating: “It’s hugely exciting to see the first ever 787-9 taking shape because of the significant growth opportunities these aircraft present for our business. Having 10 new long-haul aircraft enter our fleet over the next four years means we will be able to add more capacity and greater frequency to existing destinations, as well as explore new destination opportunities throughout the Pacific Rim. Not only does this herald a significant growth phase for us, we’ll be able to do it with super efficient new aircraft".  Air New Zealand expects the first of its new fleet of 787-9 aircraft to operate on the airline’s international network from mid 2014. [more - original PR]