Air New Zealand 2014 outlook: Long-haul expansion resumes as 787-9s and 777-300ERs are delivered

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Air New Zealand is planning long-haul capacity growth of about 5% per annum over the next five years as the carrier begins to implement its highly anticipated widebody fleet replacement and expansion programme.

2014 will be a milestone year for Air NZ as it takes delivery of its first three 787-9s as well as two additional 777-300ERs. Air NZ is the launch customer for the 787-9s, which will be used on routes within Asia-Pacific. The additional 777-300ERs will boost efficiency on North American routes as 747-400s are phased out and the carrier’s widebody fleet is simplified from four to three types.

While 5% per annum growth is a modest figure compared to most flag carriers in Asia-Pacific, for Air NZ it ushers in long-haul capacity growth for the first time in several years. There will be just one new long-haul route in the near to medium term, Auckland-Singapore, but Air NZ will expand capacity on some of its strongest existing routes.

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