Wellington, July 04: Air New Zealand on Thursday unveiled plans to acquire up to 35 new Airbus aircraft to replace the Boeing fleet currently flying its short haul international routes.
Air NZ said it would acquire 15 A320 Airbus aircraft and had purchase rights on a further 20 A320 aircraft exercisable over the next 10 years at an already agreed price.
Ten of the 15 aeroplanes would be obtained through purchase and leasing arrangements still to be finally determined by the board within a capital investment budget of more than $400 million, chief executive Ralph Norris said.
"We currently use a mix of Boeing 767 and 737 type aircraft on our short-haul international services and consolidation on a single type aircraft will simplify both operation and support service requirements," he said.
The move would cost Air New Zealand about an extra $1.5 million (NZ$3.1 million) a year but be offset by operational savings and gearing levels would not materially change, Norris said.