Due to the production delays at Boeing, Air New Zealand has delayed the delivery of further B787s by a year. Richard Thomson, the airline’s CFO, revealed on a recent earnings call that the first two of the eight B787-9s and six B787-10s on order will now arrive in the 2025 financial year, followed by two more the following year and four in 2027. New Zealand’s fiscal year closes on March 31.
As a result of discussions with Boeing over production rates, “the projected timing of the first few aircraft has been revised to reflect our current assessment of likely delivery dates,” stated Thomson. Delivery of the first two planes is anticipated to occur in the fiscal year 2025 rather than 2024.
According to the CFO, the NZD450 million refurbishment of the current fleet of fourteen B787-9s won’t begin until at least 2024 and will take many years to complete.
Since international flights account for almost two-thirds of Air New Zealand’s revenue, the airline has renegotiated the 2023 arrival date for the first of eight new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliners ordered in 2019, delaying delivery “out to the 2024 financial year.”
The airline “also has the potential to utilise several other contractual delivery deferral rights on other aircraft planned for delivery from 2024 onward,” suggesting that more Dreamliner delays are possible.
Following a string of production difficulties and involvement from the Federal Aviation Administration – FAA, Boeing halted B787 deliveries in May 2021, and deliveries resumed only recently. Unfortunately, several airlines have had their delivery dates pushed back because of the growing backlog and the persistently reduced manufacturing rates.
According to Thomson, there will be no new aircraft capital spending commitments after 2028, which also noted that capital expenditure on new aircraft will peak in 2027 (at approximately NZD650 million [A$583million]).
To replace the DHC-8-300 fleet, “our fleet networks and sustainability teams have been interacting extensively with manufacturers and start-ups on future hybrid and electric aircraft centred on our domestic network,” which will lead to some future commitments, but there are none at this moment.