Exclusive: Inside Air NZ's first ever Airbus A321neo

The latest aircraft to join Air New Zealand's fleet has been off-limits since it rolled out of Airbus' final assembly line in Hamburg - until now. 

Newshub has been given exclusive access to the brand new Airbus A321neo, a new generation aircraft that will join the national carrier's short-haul international fleet next month.

The A321 will operate on Trans-Tasman and Pacific routes. It's part of a $2.8 billion replacement of the current A320 fleet, which is nearly 15 years old.

The order consists of six A320neos and seven A321neos. The A321 has a fuselage that's 17cm wider than aircraft of a similar type, and is 7m longer than the A320 with room for 46 more seats.

Exclusive: Inside Air NZ's first ever Airbus A321neo
Photo credit: Lloyd Burr/Newshub.

'Neo' is an acronym for 'new engine option', which sees next generation power plants installed on the aircraft which Airbus claims use 15 percent less fuel than previous engine types.

The A320 and A321s are the world's best-selling single aisle aircraft type, with more than 10,200 orders to date and over 6,000 aircraft delivered.

Check out the photo gallery from our exclusive visit on our Facebook Group:

The aircraft also has 'sharklets' on the end of its wing, which not only look cool, they provide fuel savings of 15 percent.