Just a few days ago the latest addition to Air New Zealand’s fleet landed in Auckland and shortly after went into service with the national carrier. Let’s find out all about this new aircraft and how it’ll be used by the Kiwi flag carrier.
Air New Zealand’s Latest Fleet Addition
Air New Zealand operates one of the most young, in terms of average age, fleets in the aviation industry. The airline is continuously pursuing this goal integrating into it’s aircraft lineup new fuel efficient planes. This both in the effort of reducing its carbon footprint and offering the best customer experience while optimising range capabilities due to the nations geographical position.
The latest addition is a brand new Airbus A321neo marked with registration number ZK-OYA. The plane was delivered to Air New Zealand in Hamburg, Germany, and had to make its way down to Auckland.
However as the aircraft doesn’t have the range to cover the distance in one hop, it made several technical stops. To cover the 19,352 Km that separate Hamburg and Auckland the plane stopped for refuelling in:
- Muscat (Oman)
- Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
- Cairns (Australia
Finally it landed in Auckland, New Zealand, on the 3rd of November. Although this is not the airline’s first A321neo there is an aspect that sets it apart from the rest.
What Makes This A321 Special
Air New Zealand, before receiving ZK-OYA, already operated a fleet of 7 A321neo (2 of which leased). However this plane features a different seat configuration.
The layout of this particular plane is thought for domestic flights. The layout features an all economy cabin capable of accommodating up to 217 passengers. A significant 50 more compared to the domestic A320s.
Which Routes Will It Fly?
The new Air New Zealand Airbus A321neo will prevalently fly routes between Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown an Dunedin. However it will not serve exclusively these destinations in its lifespan. Surely it will be shuffled among the routes according to operational requirements.
Future Air New Zealand A321neo Deliveries
ZK-OYA was the first of a series of A321neo that the kiwi airline is expecting to receive in the coming months and years. Later this year Air New Zealand will take delivery of another domestic configured A321 painted in a special all black Star Alliance livery.
Also in 2023 New Zealand’s flag carrier expects to receive 3 more of the aircraft type, while 2 more are expected by 2026.