LONDON – An 18-month-long decision process is coming to an end for Air New Zealand, which is on the verge of choosing new Airbus or Boeing aircraft to replace its aging 777-200ER fleet.

The two final choices, according to Reuters, are either placing additional Boeing 787 Dreamliners or opting for the Airbus A350.

Reuters confirmed earlier today that, according to a source related to the matter, Air New Zealand has chosen the Boeing wide-body portfolio over Airbus.

Air New Zealand’s CFO, Jeff McDowall, admitted in a video interview with the New Zealand Herald that “They are both fantastic aircraft.”

“Both produce a fantastic customer experience compared to the existing aircraft but also a lower cost and lower carbon emissions. We expect to make a decision soon, in the next month,” he said.

Air New Zealand has already taken delivery of 13 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and is due to receive one more to give them a total of 14.

At present, the airline boasts a fleet of 64 planes, of which 17 are 777-200/300ERs and 13 787-9 Dreamliners.

Should the confirmation that Reuters received be true, Air New Zealand would reaffirm its position as an all-Boeing operator on the long-haul front, keeping fleet commonality and maintenance/training costs under the same umbrella.

In March 2019, CFO Jeff McDowall, said during an analyst briefing that the airline would need fewer replacements jets in 2023 than it had initially anticipated due to the changes in its flight network and plans.

In the same month, Air New Zealand had begun a cost reduction plan and deferred an aircraft capital investment of around NZ$750 million ($490.1 million). This is all to help increase its overall yearly profit.

Air New Zealand has plans to use the new jets to launch longer routes from Auckland to new destinations in the US East Coast and South America.

Alongside the replacement aircraft for the Boeing 777-200ER, Air New Zealand was considering adding Boeing 777X aircraft to its fleet, to aid growth in its international markets. 

By utilizing lower cost and more efficient aircraft, Air New Zealand will be able to achieve its reduced cost plan whilst also increasing its yearly revenue.