Air New Zealand to operate Dreamliners on all long-haul routes as Boeing 777s phased out

Air New Zealand is phasing out its fleet of Boeing 777-300 aircraft as it moves to simplify its long-haul fleet in the post pandemic world.

The announcement was made as part of the airline's 2021 financial results, which were released today. Air NZ posted a loss before other significant items and taxation of $440 million for the 2021 financial year - its first full 12-month period of operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The airline sent its eight Boeing 777-200 aircraft to an early retirement last year, but today's announcement confirms the larger and newer 777-300 are destined for the desert also.

Boeing 777-300 alongside its younger sibling the 737.
Boeing 777-300 alongside its younger sibling the 737. Photo credit: Dan Lake/Newshub

Air NZ introduced the Boeing 777-300 in 2010 to replace the Boeing 747-400 on long-haul routes. Video of its first arrival into New Zealand can be watched in the video above.

The aircraft was used to fly the flagship London - Los Angeles - Auckland route and was the first aircraft to feature the Economy Skycouch and the Premium Economy Spaceseat.

Air New Zealand's more simplified future fleet.
Air New Zealand's more simplified future fleet. Photo credit: Air New Zealand

Its fleet of seven, which are currently in storage, will be phased out completely by 2027 when the airline's long-haul fleet will be made up entirely of Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

The annual report shows the airline's move from a fleet consisting of eight aircraft types in 2011 to just four in 2027.

Air NZ's first Boeing 787-10 aircraft will now arrive in 2024, a year later than what originally planned.