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Air New Zealand to Ground Boeing 777 Fleet Through September 2021

Air New Zealand announced on Thursday that they will ground their Boeing 777-200/300ER fleet until at least September 2021 due to the ongoing impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The carrier’s international schedule will operate with Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Air New Zealand Boeing 777-300ER (Previous Livery) - Courtesy Boeing

On Thursday (September 10, 2020), Air New Zealand announced that they will ground their Boeing 777-200/300ER fleet until at least September 2021 due to the ongoing impact of COVID-19. The carrier will operate their international schedule with their more fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routed will be operated with Airbus A320s and Airbus A320/321neos. Air New Zealand grounded the majority of their seven 777-300ERs in May through the end of 2020 and signaled that they were unlikely to utilize their eight 777-200s for the foreseeable future either. The airline will store four 777-300ERs in Victorville, California, while the other three will remain in Auckland. Air New Zealand’s 777-200ER fleet will be sent to long-term storage in Roswell, New Mexico and Victorville later this month. In Thursday’s announcement, Air New Zealand’s Chief Operating Officer, Carrie Hurihanganui, said,

“The recent resurgence of cases in New Zealand is a reminder that this is a highly volatile situation. We are not anticipating a return to any 777 flying until September 2021 at the earliest, which is why we have made the decision to ground the fleet until at least this time next year.”

Air New Zealand selected the North American storage locations due to the arid conditions and existing storage facilities. If required, the storage conditions will allow the aircraft to be returned to service within six to eight weeks.

Source: Air New Zealand


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