Air New Zealand is retiring its Boeing 777-300 fleet as it seeks to simplify its long-haul fleet in the post-pandemic era.
The announcement came as part of the airline’s fiscal results for 2021, which were released today. Air New Zealand reported a $440 million loss before other significant items and taxation for the fiscal year 2021, its first full 12-month period of operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The airline retired its eight Boeing 777-200 planes earlier this year, but the announcement today confirms that the larger and newer 777-300 planes will also go to the desert.
Air New Zealand introduced the Boeing 777-300 in 2010 to replace the Boeing 747-400 on long-distance routes. The video above depicts its first arrival in New Zealand.
The plane flew the London-Los Angeles-Auckland route and was the first to feature the Economy Skycouch and the Premium Economy Spaceseat.
Its current fleet of seven planes will be phased out completely by 2027, when the airline’s long-haul fleet will be entirely made up of Boeing 787 Dreamliner’s.
The annual report depicts the airline’s transition from an eight-plane fleet in 2011 to just four in 2027.
The first Boeing 787-10 aircraft for Air New Zealand will now arrive in 2024, a year later than originally planned.
Air New Zealand currently operates seven Boeing 777-300ERs and fourteen Boeing 787-9s, but it plans to replace two 777-300ERs by 2025 with the first two of eight Boeing 787-10s on order.
By Joe Cusmano