The reasons behind Air New Zealand's decision to invest in Boeing's 787-10 Dreamliner

This morning Air New Zealand announced the aircraft it thinks will take the airline into the next decade.

In fact, it’s putting its money on it.

It's spending more than US$2 billion on eight Boeing 787-10 aircraft with the option of extending that order out to 20.

The new purchase highlights how far aviation technology has come in the 15 years since Air NZ took ownership of the Boeing 777-200, the aircraft type the new 787-10 is replacing.

Boeing's carbon-fibre Dreamliner burns 25 percent less fuel per passenger than its older cousin; it can go further while at the same time burning less fuel.

Although Air NZ stopped short of confirming its intentions to launch a non-stop flight from Auckland to New York, it was obvious the route is high on the airline’s priority list.

Air NZ's CEO Christopher Luxon told Newshub the national carrier is looking at ways to configure the 787-10's cabin to reduce its weight but also be commercially viable on longer routes, suggesting an aircraft with a higher number of business class seats could be an option.

"It will be a member of the 787 family of aircraft. It's a question for us if we do it with the 787-10 or the 787-9, but certainly it will be a 787 type aircraft that will be able to do it," he said.

Some of the world's longest flights have been configured in a similar way to keep the weight down.

Singapore Airlines operates a non-stop flight between Singapore and Los Angeles using an Airbus A350. It has no economy class, just business and premium cabins.

Air NZ's 777-200 fleet currently operates with 246 economy seats, 40 premium economy and 26 seats in business class. 

Singapore Airlines currently flies its Boeing 787-10 aircraft with 36 business class seats and 301 in economy.

Adding more Boeing aircraft to their fleet also saves the company money in the long-term.

The new 787-10 aircraft has many common components, parts and systems with its sister aircraft, the Dreamliner 787-9, which Air NZ already operates. This means there's no need to retrain pilots, cabin crew or ground staff on a new aircraft type. It also means engineers are already familiar with the operation of the aircraft, and its parts.

Air NZ also confirmed the new aircraft will arrive fitted out with an entirely newly designed interior. The airline has secretly been working on new business, premium and economy class offerings using the code name 'Hangar 22."

So when the new aircraft arrives in 2022, you could be flying in state-of-the-art comfort and for a longer distance.

Non-stop to New York could be just around the corner.