Air New Zealand’s Boeing 777-300ERs To Be Retired From 2023
Air New Zealand has confirmed that it will possibly start retiring its Boeing 777-300ER fleet come the 2024 financial year. The airline has disclosed that it will decide the matter within 12 months. Air New Zealand’s oldest Boeing 777-300ER is only over 10 years old. Coming in the wake of discussions about retiring the aircraft, the airline is not expecting one of its leased 777-300ER to return to service.
At an investor’s briefing last week, Jeff McDowall from Air New Zealand said that the company had both short-term and long-term levers to pull when it comes to their fleet. “In the short-term, we have the option to exit a portion of our 777-300 fleet,” Jeff said, adding that, “We do not have to make these decisions for another six to nine months.”
Speaking at the investor’s briefing concerning the recovery of the international market, Greg Foran, Air New Zealand’s CEO, remarked that, “There is no roadmap for how the international market will recover.” The executive team of Air New Zealand present at the briefing was hesitant to suggest a specific timeline for international travel return. Instead, the team focused more on the airline’s efficiencies and operational agility.
While some stakeholders believe that the continuous widespread vaccination programs will cause the rate of demand to climb back quickly, others are less optimistic, given the current trend of new and easy to transmit variants of the COVID-19 virus. In February, the IATA is quoted to have said,
“Optimism that the arrival and initial distribution of vaccines would lead to a prompt and orderly restoration in global air travel have been dashed in the face of new outbreaks and new mutations of the disease.”