Air New Zealand plans to boost its service on North American routes next year, using aircraft capacity freed up by Boeing 787 deliveries.
The carrier will add a seasonal third daily flight to its Auckland-Los Angeles route, flying Boeing 777-200ERs. The arrival of 787-9s and their introduction on existing routes gives Air New Zealand flexibility to increase frequencies or add new routes with its other aircraft types.
The airline typically operates newer 777-300ERs on its Los Angeles flights, although the -200ERs are undergoing a refurbishment program to give them a similar cabin product.
The third daily Los Angeles flight will be operated between April and October, increasing capacity on the route by 20%. Air New Zealand is also increasing its seasonal flights on its Vancouver route, which will boost capacity by 10%.
Meanwhile, the carrier has retired its last 747-400. Its final flight departed San Francisco for Auckland Sept. 10. This aircraft has been sold to a company that intends to lease it out to another airline customer, Air New Zealand says.
The carrier’s 747-400 fleet numbered eight aircraft at one point. The second-to-last aircraft left the fleet on July 16, and was sold to a California-based buyer. The final two 747-400s were used on the San Francisco route, and have been replaced by two leased 777-300ERs.