Air New Zealand is a carrier with a long and diverse history. It has been operating under its current name for 56 years, but dates back as far as 1940 when it originated as Tasman Empire Airways. Its present fleet is similarly interesting and varied, featuring turboprops as well as jets of different shapes and sizes. Let’s take a closer look at its exact makeup.
Air New Zealand’s Boeing 787s are its youngest widebodies. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying
Being located in one of the planet’s most distant corners, a strong widebody fleet is vital for Air New Zealand’s long-haul network. While this previously consisted of iconic quadjets like the Boeing 747, Air New Zealand’s present widebody fleet consists entirely of twinjets.
According to data from ch-aviation.com, the carrier operates a total of 110 aircraft. Of these, just 29 are examples of twin-aisle designs. The most numerous of these is the Boeing 787-9 ‘Dreamliner,’ of which Air New Zealand operates 14, with an average age of just 5.4 years old. It has two more of these on order, as well as six stretched 787-10s.
In terms of older twin-engine widebodies, Air New Zealand also operates two variants of Boeing’s popular 777 family. The 777-200ER is the most numerous of these by the barest of margins, with eight examples compared to seven for the larger 777-300ER. These aircraft are 15.6 and 9.6 years old respectively, and all are presently in storage.
Air New Zealand favors the A320 family when it comes to narrowbodies. Photo: Rosedale7175 via Flickr
While Air New Zealand has a Boeing-dominated widebody fleet, its narrowbody jets are all Airbus designs. The most numerous of these is the first-generation A320-200, otherwise known as the A320ceo. Air New Zealand flies 19 of these European twinjets, and the type has a relatively young average age of 8.7 years old at the carrier.
However, the new A320neo family is also becoming popular at Air New Zealand. The carrier recently took delivery of its fifth A320neo, which flew via the likes of Gander, Los Angeles, and Honolulu en route from Toulouse. It also has a sixth example on order.
The larger A321neo is set to be even more numerous than its standard-sized counterpart. Seven examples presently grace Air New Zealand’s fleet, and another seven are on order to bring the total contingent to 14. This will see its average age drop further still.
Air New Zealand’s turboprop fleet may make way for hydrogen-powered planes. Photo: Getty Images
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At the other end of the spectrum, small but mighty turboprop aircraft also play a key role at Air New Zealand. The carrier is a rare operator of the Q300 series from the Dash 8 family, and it presently flies 23. These are 15.1 years old on average. However, when it comes to younger, larger, and more numerous turboprops, look no further than the ATR 72-600.
These aircraft are the future of Air New Zealand’s turboprop fleet, with the airline’s 28 examples clocking in at just 4.9 years old on average. A 29th example also remains on order. That being said, Air New Zeal may be set to replace them with hydrogen-powered aircraft in the longer term, as it, like many others, looks to become a more sustainable airline.
What do you make of Air New Zealand’s present fleet? Do you have a particular favorite among its aircraft types? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!
Article Source simpleflying.com