Australasian airlines face widebody recovery challenges: part two – Air NZ and Virgin Australia

Premium Analysis

Australasia's widebody fleet was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it has been slow to rebuild as international demand accelerates.

Air New Zealand and Qantas both plan to return more widebodies to service. However, this process will be spread over several months, and new deliveries have also been delayed.

Meanwhile, Virgin Australia is considering how it could re-establish its own long haul fleet. This is more likely to be a long term project, which would not help ease short term shortages.

Part one of this analysis examined the Australasia region's overall widebody trends, and also took a closer look at Qantas' efforts to boost its twin-aisle fleet. Part two focuses on Air New Zealand's widebody plans as it activates more of its stored aircraft as it contends with delivery delays, and also Virgin Australia's intentions in the long haul arena - it cut all of its widebodies in 2020 and is now considering how it could start rebuilding such a fleet.

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