Air New Zealand reveals new all-black Star Alliance livery

Air New Zealand's new all-black plane
"From sports jerseys to gumboots, black is embedded in New Zealand’s national identity." Photo credit: Supplied / Air New Zealand

While the All Blacks might be struggling to hit the heights on the field, a new all-black Air New Zealand plane certainly will when it takes off.

Air NZ has revealed the Star Alliance livery on its new A321neo plane, with the colours inverted for the first time.

Star Alliance is the largest of the world's airline alliances with 26 members who cooperate in many ways, including providing inter-airline codeshare connections.

Air NZ's new livery marks the world's first black Star Alliance aircraft.

"While Star Alliance livery is typically white with a black tail fin, we asked if we could do something a little different and inverse the colours in celebration of how important black is to Air NZ and New Zealand," said the airline's chief transformation and alliances officer Mike Williams.

"Black is an iconic Kiwi colour. From sports jerseys to gumboots, black is embedded in New Zealand’s national identity and worn with pride, so it's fantastic to welcome this aircraft with its special black livery into our fleet."

The new aircraft, which can seat up to 217 customers, will be one of three A321neos to join the fleet in the coming months and will fly on the domestic network.

Despite the new branding, the aircraft will still display the famous Koru. According to Williams, the iconic mangōpare will feature on the wingtips in the one-off design.

Star Alliance vice president for alliance development and communications Siu Ling Fock said the organisation knew the significance of the colour black to New Zealanders.

Air NZ's new all-black plane
Photo credit: Supplied / Air New Zealand

"When Air NZ proposed to launch the first-ever all-black aircraft with Star Alliance livery, we were happy to agree. This launch also comes at a special time for Star Alliance, as we celebrate our 25th anniversary this year," he said.

The new aircraft is expected to touch down in Aotearoa in November after making a 17,825km journey from the Airbus factory in Germany, via Muscat, Kuala Lumpur and Cairns.

"Demand for travel is showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon, so we’re excited that these aircraft will help add much needed capacity on our domestic routes - they won’t be sitting on the tarmac for long," Williams said.

"We are proud that this special domestic A321neo will soon be flying customers from our fellow Star Alliance members across Aotearoa."

Another A321neo - which will be painted in the more classic black and white livery of Air NZ - is expected to arrive in September, the company said.

Air NZ's fleet has an average age of 7.3 years, making it one of the youngest fleets in the world.