LONDON – In its striking “all black” livery, Air New Zealand’s Star Alliance Airbus A321neo joined the whānau, touching down at Auckland Airport after a ferry flight from Hamburg.
Registered ZK-OYB, the striking new aircraft landed at Auckland Airport (AKL) on New Zealand’s north island after a four-stage ferry flight from Hamburg Finkenwerder Airport.
Commencing the repositioning flight on Saturday, ZK-OYB then transited through Muscat International Airport (MCT) in Oman, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) in Malaysia and finally Cairns Airport (CNS) in Queensland, Australia.
ZK-OYB Ferry Flight
HAMBURG – MUSCAT
MUSCAT – KUALA LUMPUR
KUALA LUMPUR – BRISBANE
CAIRNS – AUCKLAND
SOURCE: Flight Radar 24
The original flight plan was a leg from KUL to Queensland’s Brisbane Airport (BNE); however the aircraft diverted to Cairns, just north of Brisbane, presumably due to weather factors.
The final leg of its ferry flight took it from the east coast of Australia to Auckland, New Zealand, where it is currently being prepared for its first operational flight to Queenstown on the South Island
The A321neo now at Air New Zealand’s (ANZ) maintenance facility being readied for the first flight down to Queensland in New Zealand’s South Island.
ZK-OYB becomes the second A321neo to join the Air New Zealand fleet, joining its stablemate ZK-OYA, which made the same 19,352 km journey to Auckland from Hamburg Finkenwerder earlier this month.
Increased domestic capacity
The aircraft will move to the operational line in time for the impending southern hemisphere summer peak season.
Together the two new A321neo’s add an additional capacity of 200,000 seats per year on Air New Zealand’s domestic network.
The aircraft will become the largest line aircraft on the airline’s domestic fleet and will largely be operating between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin.
Three more A321neos are expected to arrive next year with the final two scheduled for induction in 2026.
Air New Zealand chief operating officer Alex Marren commented on the continuing demand for air travel, saying: “Over recent weeks, we’ve seen a strong increase in bookings and over the summer, we’ll be operating at pre-Covid levels.”
We know how important it is to get our customers to where they need to be safely, so we’ve strengthened our operations to ensure customers enjoy a seamless airport and inflight experience.”
“Over the last 10 months, Air New Zealand has hired more than1,950 operational employees – around 1,200 cabin crew, 250 pilots, 400 airport employees and 30 engineers. By February 2023, the airline will have hired an additional 700 people.”
“Over the summer peak, we’re also adding a pool of casual employees across our airports to help customers on our busiest days. Where possible, we’re offering our part-time employees a full-time role. We’re back to more robust performance compared to our winter months where we experienced high levels of Covid.”
“In preparation for summer, we’ve added some additional flexibility around our flight schedule and increased crew standby levels.”