Air New Zealand adds four aircraft to regional and short haul fleet

A parked Air New Zealand ATR72-600 aircraft.
Photo Credit: Air New Zealand

Air New Zealand has announced as part of the airline’s 2023 annual results earlier today that it will be welcoming two new ATR72-600 turboprop aircraft and two new Airbus A321 aircraft into its fleet from late 2024 adding 768,000 seats per year.

Additional Aircraft

In response to surging demand across its regional network, Air New Zealand is set to introduce two additional 68-seat ATR aircraft, a move that will significantly bolster capacity by over 5,700 seats per week.

These aircraft are poised to connect customers to regional hotspots such as Tauranga and Nelson, underscoring the airline’s commitment to cater to growing travel needs.

Alongside this regional boost, Air New Zealand is making strides in enhancing its international travel offerings. The airline is poised to welcome two 214-seat Airbus A321neo aircraft, uniquely configured for international flights, particularly catering to the Tasman and Pacific Island routes.

This move is set to inject over 9,000 seats into the weekly network, propelling Air New Zealand into a position of unparalleled capacity across the Tasman region, bestowing travelers with an array of choices at competitive prices.

An Air New Zealand Airbus entering the runway.
Biponacci, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Greg Foran, the Chief Executive Officer of Air New Zealand, affirms that these newly added aircraft represent a significant stride in aligning with escalating travel demands.

By augmenting its domestic and short-haul networks with targeted capacity, the airline aims to harmonize its services with the areas that need it the most.

Meeting Soaring Demand

The soaring demand for air travel, both on a domestic and global scale, has led to heightened prices. Recognizing this challenge, Air New Zealand’s strategic response involves expanding its fleet and increasing the number of available seats.

While this maneuver serves as a pivotal step in addressing price concerns, it’s essential to note that rising costs across various sectors remain a reality. Consequently, the pre-pandemic airfare levels might not be fully attainable.

Foran emphasizes the airline’s commitment to its patrons, acknowledging the support they’ve extended during Air New Zealand’s rebuilding phase.

The company’s dedication to offering a range of fares that cater to all New Zealanders is further bolstered by the addition of new aircraft.

This translates to greater seat availability at diverse times and reasonable prices, making travel accessible to a wider spectrum of travelers.

Restoration of Domestic Capacity

With the near restoration of pre-Covid domestic capacity, Air New Zealand is operating approximately 425 flights daily to 20 destinations across Aotearoa.

The introduction of the new aircraft heralds a significant milestone—making the domestic airline larger than it has ever been.

The expansion also encompasses two previously announced domestic A321neo aircraft that are slated for delivery within the next year.

The company is wholeheartedly committed to optimizing its resources to expedite the addition of seats to the sky, prioritizing safety and efficiency.

The aircraft acquisitions include the technologically advanced A321neo and the environmentally conscious ATR72-600.

The former stands out for its exceptional fuel efficiency, representing a leap forward in sustainable aviation.

The latter, equipped with the latest engine variant, exhibits a potential 3% improvement in fuel burn compared to its predecessor.

Air New Zealand Going Forward

Air New Zealand’s operational landscape is set for exciting shifts. After a period of collaboration with Spanish airline Wamos Air, the airline’s aircraft and crew will reestablish their presence on the Auckland-Perth route starting October 29th.

The resumption of daily services to Perth will ensure a weekly availability of over 2,000 seats, fostering more travel opportunities for eager explorers.

These four additional aircraft augment the airline’s fleet, totaling 16 new additions. Among them are eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners, six Airbus A321s, and two ATR72-600s, all slated for delivery within the timeframe of 2024 to 2028.

Furthermore, the imminent unveiling of details regarding a leased Boeing 777-300ER is poised to elevate the international network’s capacity by an additional 3,000 seats per week, consequently expanding the total 777-300 fleet to eight.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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