Air New Zealand is closing on the final seating configuration of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, which is due to begin flying by mid-2014.
"Our first aircraft is due to be delivered in the first half of calendar year 2014 and we’re well advanced in specifying the interior fitout for that aircraft" Air NZ Chief Executive Officer Rob Fyfe said in a media briefing this morning.
"The fitout that we're looking to deploy is consistent with the fitout on our Boeing 777-300 today," Fyfye said of the airline's three-class Dreamliners, which will feature Business Premier business class, premium economy (using the airline's award-winning Spaceseat) and Economy.
The Kiwi flag-carrier has signed up for 10 of Boeing's 787-9 model, which is a stretched version of the debut 787-8.
Boeing lists the 787-9 as capable of seating 250–290 passengers, but while some expected AirNZ's three-class config might lean towards the lower of those numbers, "we're still finalising the actual split between cabins, how many cattle-class seats we'll have on board and so on" Fyfe said. "It's just a matter of getting the balance right."
Air NZ says its first 10 Dreamliners will replace older Boeing 767-300ERs currently used on medium-haul international routes such as to Australia and Japan, as well as launching new long-haul routes.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.