Following Air New Zealand’s 2009 order for A320 Family aircraft, the airline has selected the added efficiency and performance of the neo with an order for three A321neo, ten A320neo and one additional A320ceo aircraft. The agreement marks the first time Air New Zealand has ordered the larger A321 aircraft and the neo. Engine selection and cabin configuration will be made at a later date.
The A321 is the largest member of the A320 Family offering the best seat mile costs of any single aisle. The A320 Family fuselage is seven inches wider than competing aircraft and with a cargo hold designed for industry standard containers and pallets.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Christopher Luxon says the purchase confirms the airline’s intention to have an Airbus narrow body fleet. “Operating one narrow body aircraft type will bring important efficiencies in training, maintenance and operating costs. The new Airbus neo will help ensure we continue to operate one of the world’s youngest jet fleets and will further drive fuel efficiency allowing us to minimise our carbon footprint.”
The latest version, the A320neo, incorporates new engines and Sharklet wing tip devices which together deliver up to 15% in fuel savings. At the end of April 2014, firm orders for the NEO reached over 2,600 aircraft from 50 customers, representing a 60% share market share in its category.