Air New Zealand is welcoming the latest addition to its fleet – a new Airbus A320neo that has made the 21,000km journey from Toulouse, France.
"Our new A320 is a welcome sign of international travel being just on the horizon," says Air New Zealand's Chief Pilot Captain David Morgan.
The new short-haul aircraft travelled from France via Canada, Los Angeles, Honolulu and the Cook Islands before touching down at Auckland Airport late last night.
It’s the first of two new A320neo aircraft to join the Air New Zealand fleet this month, with the second plane expected to arrive late next week.
The aircraft, which can seat up to 165 passengers, is also the first A320neo to join our fleet since the end of 2019.
Air New Zealand is asking Kiwis to get creative and help name the new plane. Customers can put name suggestions forward by visiting www.twitter.com/FlyAirNZ/status/1456008223153025024.
“It’s welcome news, particularly in the context of the challenges that Covid has brought upon our business.”
“It won’t be sitting on the tarmac for long, before it’s jetting out of Auckland across the Tasman and into the Pacific Islands. We’re starting to gear up now so it’s a tremendously exciting time for the team at Air New Zealand.”
Captain Morgan says the new A320neos are powered by an engine that is exceptionally quiet for passengers and crew onboard. They also feature Wi-Fi to help people stay connected and inflight entertainment so customers can enjoy world-class movies, TV shows, music and more during flights.
The aircraft also uses significantly less fuel compared to older technology aircraft.
“I'm personally excited about our future with these airplanes. They're going to deliver very efficient and sustainable customer journeys.”
Air New Zealand has an average fleet age of 6.7 years making it one of the youngest and most efficient fleets in the world.
The new plane is now going through a process to get it ready for service in the coming days.
“Someone is going to have an exciting day when they jump into an airplane and whether they’re flying to the Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, undoubtedly they’ll notice - instead of new car smell – the new plane smell.
“It will be quite a thrilling moment for customers to fly on the first official flight in this airplane.”