Air New Zealand hopes introduce its new Boeing 777-300ERs on direct flights from Auckland to San Francisco and Vancouver this year, with limited services to Melbourne and Brisbane on weekends.
The first of five 777-300ERs slated for the Kiwi carrier will begin regular service between Auckland, Los Angeles and London route starting on April 2nd.
As additional aircraft arrive they will begin to replace AirNZ’s Boeing 747-400s and take over the jumbo’s routes says Cam Wallace, Air New Zealand’s General Manager Australia.
“We already have the first of five Boeing 777-300ERs and by the end of the calendar year we will get the rest” Wallace told Australian Business Traveller.
“The 747 has been flying to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver, and although we haven’t worked through the schedule I think it’ll progressively go to those markets in the medium term as we move the 747 out of each market.”
Australians will have to make do with occasional weekend visit by the aircraft as Air New Zealand slips it into trans-Tasman service in a continuation of their ‘surprise and delight’ strategy (although based on our reviews of the premium economy and economy seats and cabins, not every surprise will be a delightful one).
“The aircraft is designed as a long-haul product but we will take the opportunity to fly some selected services, primarily to Melbourne and primarily on the weekends” Wallace told Australian Business Traveller.
“As the third, fourth and fifth 777s are delivered that will give us some further flexibility on the weekends when there is more flying time. We could look at a weekend schedule to Melbourne or Brisbane when the aircraft is available."
Our detailed coverage of Air New Zealand's new seating, along with upgrades to the entertainment system and other on-board services, tells you everything you need to know about the new business class, premium economy and economy seats (yes, including the innovative 'cuddle-class' Skycouch design); there's also a guide to choosing which of those three classes is best for business travel; and a nifty wrap-up of five little-known improvements on Air New Zealand's new Boeing 777-300ER.
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.