Air New Zealand chooses Boeing for major airliner order - report

Air New Zealand has reportedly decided to go with Boeing rather than Airbus in updating its wide-body plane fleet.

Reuters cites "people with direct knowledge of the matter" in a report about the deal, which is for a set of aircraft worth more than $3 billion at list prices.

Air NZ has been in negotiations for more than 18 months with the two aircraft manufacturers as the airline seeks to replace eight Boeing 777-200ER airliners.

Aotearoa's national airline has a long history with Boeing - but that didn't stop it from replacing its entire domestic fleet of Boeing aircraft with A320s made by rival company Airbus in 2003.

Boeing has also been plagued by problems recently. The company is believed to have known about faults with its 737 MAX 8 engines that are thought to have caused recent Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes that killed a total of 346 people.

Air NZ'S final choice was between the Boeing 787 and Airbus A350, the company's chief financial officer told NZME.

"They are both fantastic aircraft," Jeff McDowall said.

"Both produce a fantastic customer experience compared to the existing aircraft but also a lower cost and lower carbon emissions... We expect to make a decision soon, in the next month."

Boeing and Airbus have not commented on the Reuters report and Air NZ has not confirmed it.

Air NZ already has 13 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in its fleet, with a 14th set to be delivered in October.