Air New Zealand asks Kiwis to help name its brand new Airbus A320neo

Air New Zealand has welcomed the latest addition to its fleet: A new Airbus A320neo which touched down on Wednesday after a 21,000km journey from Toulouse, France.

But the plane currently doesn't have a name and the airline wants everyday Kiwis to help change that.

Air NZ's Chief Pilot Captain David Morgan said the new aircraft is a promising sign that international travel is now on the horizon.

The route from Airbus to Air New Zealand.
The route from Airbus to Air New Zealand. Photo credit:

"It's welcome news, particularly in the context of the challenges that Covid has brought upon our business," Morgan said.

"I'm personally excited about our future with these airplanes. They're going to deliver very efficient and sustainable customer journeys."

Captain Morgan said the new A320neos are powered by an engine that is exceptionally quiet for passengers and crew onboard. They also feature Wi-Fi to help people stay connected and inflight entertainment so customers can enjoy world-class movies, TV shows and music during flights. 

The aircraft also uses significantly less fuel compared to older technology aircraft. 

Air NZ has an average fleet age of 6.7 years, making it one of the youngest fleets in the world.

"Someone is going to have an exciting day when they jump into an airplane and whether they're flying to Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, undoubtedly they'll notice - instead of the new car smell - the new plane smell," Morgan said.

"It will be quite a thrilling moment for customers to fly on the first official flight in this airplane."

Air NZ has put out a call out on social media for naming suggestions.

"Haere mai ZK-NHF - What should we name our brand new Airbus A320Neo?" the official Air NZ account tweeted.

"It won't be sitting on the tarmac for long before it's jetting out of Auckland across the Tasman and into the Pacific Islands. We're starting to gear up now so it's a tremendously exciting time for the team at Air New Zealand."   

The A320neo in all its glory.
The A320neo in all its glory. Photo credit: Air New Zealand

The new short-haul aircraft travelled from France via Canada, Los Angeles, Honolulu and the Cook Islands before touching down at Auckland Airport late on Wednesday night.

It's the first of two new A320neo aircraft to join the Air NZ fleet this month, with the second plane expected to arrive late next week.

The aircraft can seat up to 165 passengers.