The latest addition to the Air New Zealand fleet has touched down in Auckland for the first time. The A321neo, registered ZK-NNA (c/n 8496) landed just before 10.30pm local time following a mammoth ferry flight from the Airbus Delivery Centre in Hamburg. The narrowbody carried nine staff and made refuelling stops in Oman, Kuala Lumpur and Cairns over four days before arriving in New Zealand’s largest city.
The jet – painted in Air New Zealand’s distinctive black and white livery – is the first of 13 neo aircraft to join the fleet before the end of 2019, with six A320neos and seven A321neos on their way to the Kiwi flag carrier. A separate longer-term order for a further seven A321neos has also been earmarked for the airline’s domestic network with deliveries due from 2020 to 2024.
The new A321s will primarily be used on short-haul international sectors, with flight NZ739 from Auckland to Brisbane on November 23 expected to be the first commercial service for the new aircraft.
Air New Zealand’s neos are equipped with Pratt & Whitney PW1100G engines which the manufacturer says are quieter and more fuel efficient than the previous examples, while the carrier has opted for a single-class configuration for the new A321, with 214 seats. A seat map of the new aircraft can be viewed here.
A second A321neo is expected to arrive in Auckland “in the coming weeks”, with the new fleet eventually replacing the carrier’s current generation A320 aircraft, which currently ply busy trans-Tasman and Pacific Island routes.