Air New Zealand has become a new operator of the A321neo, following the delivery of its first aircraft this weekend.
The airline formally took delivery of the aircraft on Wednesday and it departed the Airbus Delivery Centre at Finkenwerder, Hamburg at 9.00am Friday. The four-day journey will see the aircraft travel from Hamburg to Auckland via Oman, Kuala Lumpur and Cairns with a small team of nine on board. It’s expected to arrive in Auckland late on Monday evening.
The aircraft, with the tail registration ZK-NNA, is the first of 13 new Airbus neo aircraft (seven A321neos and six A320neos) to join Air New Zealand’s fleet and is expected to enter commercial service on 23 November operating flight NZ739 from Auckland to Brisbane.
Air New Zealand’s first A321neo is painted in the airline’s iconic all-black livery. The aircraft is powered by Pratt & Whitney Pure Power engines and accommodates 214 passengers in a single-class layout.
Air New Zealand’s fleet of A320neo aircraft will initially add capacity on the carrier’s trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes and at a later stage on domestic services.
A second A321neo is also expected to enter service in the coming weeks, while the majority of the remaining aircraft will follow at intervals through until late 2019, with the new fleet eventually replacing the airline’s A320s that currently operate Tasman and Pacific Island services.
A further seven A321neos have also been ordered for the airline’s domestic network and are expected to be delivered from 2020 to 2024.