Air NZ Dreamliners due soon
Air New Zealand is a step closer to receiving its long-delayed fleet of Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with the first aircraft rolling out of the Seattle factory in the airline's distinctive new all black livery at the weekend.
The 787 is the first to feature the livery which incorporates the silver fern design used by Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.
Other Air New Zealand aircraft will swap the old turquoise colour scheme with a white version of the new livery.
Air New Zealand has used black schemes on a variety of aircraft over the past three years starting with an Airbus A320 which promoted the Rugby World Cup. Since then at least one aircraft in each of the regional, domestic and international fleets has been dressed in black.
Air New Zealand chief flight operations and safety officer Captain David Morgan, who was in Seattle for the unveiling, said it was exciting to see the combined koru and silver fern design. "This will soon be the first 787-9 aircraft anywhere in the world to operate commercially and I think it will instil a sense of pride in Kiwis and turn heads when it touches down at airports throughout Asia and the Pacific," Morgan said.
Air New Zealand is the global launch customer for the stretched Dreamliner, but delivery has been delayed for more than three years.
The aircraft will be delivered by mid-winter and begin flying the Auckland to Perth route from October 15 and Auckland to Shanghai and Tokyo by December.
Ten of the more fuel-efficient aircraft have been ordered, with half being delivered with the all black livery and the rest featuring the white version.